I really feel as though my own powers of interpretation have been put to the test over the past four days because, in some ways, the recent segments of the challenge could be construed as alternatives of the same subjects. A book that makes you happy, makes you laugh. A book that makes you sad, and now a book that makes you cry.
When I first thought about this part of the challenge, my brain automatically went to sadness at the word “cry”. But then I thought more into it and managed to pick out a book that I have very rarely talked about but feel needs more attention because it is so beautifully powerful.
My book for discussion today is:
Little Bits of Sky
by S.E. Durrant
The book, which is told from the point of view of elder child Ira, follows two young siblings in the foster care system during the 1980s as they make and lose friends, grow up together in a foster home named Skilly House, and most importantly find a home of their own.
“Little Bits of Sky” is a beautifully poignant book for how short it is. To be honest, I feel as though it would have passed my radar if I hadn’t spotted it on the shelf at the supermarket one day. I haven’t heard a single thing about it anywhere. GoodReads did a statistics post at the end of 2016 and this book came up on it as one that I read that very little other people had – only 80 other people had read this book in 2016 compared to the larger read count of over 1000 for “The Maze Runner”.
Though I took slight issue with the writing style at first, I came to understand that it was meant to be the voice of the child version of Ira. You hear from her at the beginning of the book explaining why she kept a log of all the events of her childhood, wanting to never be forgotten in the foster system like so many other unfortunate children, and she meant it literally – the words presented were the words of a child and as such they are written as though a child had actually taken the time to tell her story.
There are many events throughout the book that made me feel both elated and sad for Ira and Zac, and the moment where I actually cried came as such a shock to me that I felt rattled in a way a book hasn’t made me feel in a long time.
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this book, then I highly recommend reading it as soon as possible. It is a beautiful story, the characters are developed wonderfully in such a short space of time (page-wise, the story crosses many years), and it’s not a tale you really hear all that often.
I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads.