Talking to the Moon
What with Dad’s repairs to her bedroom and two year old twins to contend with, home life for Iris has become way too chaotic and stressful so she’s temporarily living with her highly unusual grandmother Mimi.
There though Iris soon discovers challenges and chaos of a different kind. Gran wants her to go swimming in the freezing cold sea and there’s no hot water to warm you up afterwards; and the place is full of bits and pieces Mimi has collected over the years, mostly boxes of old photos taken and developed by Mimi herself.
It’s not long before Iris begins to notice increasingly strange behaviour on Mimi’s part and it surely can’t all be down to her quirky nature. ‘It feels like Mimi’s getting holes in her memory. It’s scary,’ she tells readers.
Into the story steps the irritating, marble-obsessed boy Mason, who has observed some of Mimi’s behaviour from next door.
Despite all her intentions to wait until secondary school before forming a proper friendship, the two start spending time together. Mason’s granddad too has memory loss and the boy becomes increasingly involved in iris’s efforts to unravel the mystery of Coral, shown in one of Mimi’s photographs. Who is she and what happened to her?
Tenderly written, S.E. Durrant’s poignant story gently tackles the difficult subject of dementia and at the same time explores how the 11 year old narrator navigates her own tricky family circumstances.
We really feel we’re standing right beside Iris as she attempts to protect her beloved Mimi while dealing with the unsettling nature of her own life.
This utterly compelling book finishes with a beautiful and uplifting scene on Brighton’s seafront that brought a tear to the eye of this reviewer.