Saturday, July 15, 2017

[Review] The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan

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Publication (dd/mm/yyyy)05/01/2012
Publisher: Bloomsbury UK
Pages: 240
Source: Library
Genre: YA {Contemporary | Verse}

Violence | Sexual Content | Profanity

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My Rating
3.5/5 stars

My thoughts

I adore Sarah Crossan and I think she is an amazing person. Meeting her last month at Sydney Writer's Fest reminded me that I needed to read her older books, namely The Weight of Water which she mentioned she drew slightly subconscious inspiration from her own childhood and upbringing. She had imagined this shabby one-room apartment in which her protagonist would live in this story, vivid as if she had lived there herself - until she realised that in fact, she had (but she had blocked out the memories)! And I think that's really amazing! Writing really is the truest, purest form of therapy and self-realisation.

Written in verse, The Weight of Water is about a 12-year-old girl, Kasienka, who is plucked from Poland when her Mama (mother) brings the two of them over to Coventry, England, to try and find Tata (father) who left home without warning. We follow her as she tries to navigate being the new girl at school as the popular kids ostracise, bully and target her for ridicule because of her background and appearance. She just wants a friend, she wants to go home, she wants things to go back to Before. And then she meets someone, and it's a boy, and it turns out he might actually kiss her...

I wish that I could have connected to the characters more than I had. I felt so distant from it all, but I was able to appreciate the difficulty and unfairness of the situation, and I was glad to see traces of happiness, silver linings.

I liked this one and ended up reading most of it in one sitting. I'm not sure if I would read this again, but I did like the snippets we got to see of the hardships of being an 'alien' in a different land, learning that love is not always forever, and the healing powers of swimming.

Sarah Crossan is one of my all-time favourite verse authors! The Weight of Water is a realistic and quiet portrayal of a young Polish girl adjusting to life in a foreign country - England.


First lines:

"The wheels on the suitcase break
Before we've even left Gdańsk Główny.
"Mama laughs:
They think you are nothing,
These receptionist women and porter men.
But you are better than them;
You are a doctor,
And they don't know it.
Ignorant English.'

Kanoro shakes his head
And like stars at dawn
The twinkle disappears.
'It is Kanoro who is ignorant,
If he thinks he is better.
There is honour in all things,' he says. (44-45)


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- From the same author -
We Come Apart {review tk}

I have received this review copy in return for an honest review.

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