A poignant tale of family, growing up, friendship, and forgiveness.
The summer of 1934, 13 year old Loyal Raines discovers a dead body, disrupting his small town community as accusations fly and tensions rise.
Loyal is a 13 year old boy kept on the outside looking in, deaf from a young age, he can see things that others can't hear. I loved how he grows in confidences and courage under the guidance of a father, and opening his silent world to others by teaching them sign. He is clever and intuitive, eager to please and fit in with the hearing world. One of my favorite parts of this book was his friendship with Rebecca, a girl similar in age who has a speech impediment, I loved how she embraces Loyal as he is, seeing all the things that he can do rather than the things he can't.
The book also follows Loyal's parents Delphy and Creed as they are forced to confront the things that fractured their relationship. I loved how Creed comes to admire his son, as he sees him connecting with others, and courageously protecting his friends and fighting for truth.
This is a beautiful story of family and forgiveness, coming alive against the backdrop of the West Virginia Mountains during the Depression. Loyal is an incredible young man, not shying away from the challenges of the hearing world. Compelling and mysterious, with well developed characters and a grippingly poignant plot, with strong themes of faith, forgiveness and courage. This was well worth the read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.