Tuesday, 15 December 2015
Silence is Goldfish by Annabel Pitcher
review by Maryom
Tess has tried so hard to be the daughter her father wanted, laughed at his lame jokes, pretended to have close friends among the popular girls at school, gone along with flute lessons and taking part in the local amateur dramatic pantomime just to please him. But all along, it wasn't only Tess who was pretending to be someone they weren't ... on her dad's pc she reads something she was never intended to see - something that brings her world crashing down.
Discovering that the man she's always known as 'dad' not only isn't her biological father but could barely stand the sight of her as a baby, sends Tess into meltdown. A normal reaction from a teenager might be to shout, scream, slam doors and generally kick up a fuss - but Tess retreats into silence, and as she keeps it up over days and weeks, it becomes louder than any words could have been. As her increasingly desperate parents drag her round specialists to find a cure, Tess loses her only real friend and picks up some dubious ones, and in searching for her ideal father finds that there are bigger lies out there than the one her dad has told.
Throughout all this, the only 'person' Tess will talk to is her goldfish torch, who takes on a cartoon-style persona, answering back against some of her wilder schemes with a mix of snappy one-liners and reasoned arguments.
Silence is Goldfish is a funny, but heart-wrenching tale of an understandably angry teenager trying to find her place in the world and along the way discovering what really makes a family. It's quirky, weird, and, yes, the heroine talks to an imaginary goldfish, but it's brilliant, readable and thought-provoking. It will definitely make you laugh but it also makes you wonder, what if that had been me? how would I have reacted? it isn't likely to happen to many but imagine the shock it must be to find out - and in such a way!
Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Orion Books
Genre - teen,