Monday, 12 March 2018

Review: Only Child by Rhiannon Navin

Only Child Rhiannon Navin's Only Child is the most powerful book you'll read this year . . .

We went to school that Tuesday like normal.
Not all of us came home . . .

Huddled in a cloakroom with his classmates and teacher, six-year-old Zach can hear shots ringing through the corridors of his school. A gunman has entered the building and, in a matter of minutes, will have taken nineteen lives.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the close knit community and its families are devastated. Everyone deals with the tragedy differently. Zach's father absents himself; his mother pursues a quest for justice -- while Zach retreats into his super-secret hideout and loses himself in a world of books and drawing.

Ultimately though, it is Zach who will show the adults in his life the way forward -- as, sometimes, only a child can.

Shona's review 5 of 5 stars

This is a weird one for me. I cant remember exactly why I picked this book, I don't remember reading the blurb I just know that when I sat down to read it I knew nothing about what to expect. So when I was confronted with Zach hiding in the closet at school with his teacher and classmates and quickly realised what was happening and I almost stopped reading. Almost. 

It's clear that Zach is much younger than your usual narrator and to begin with I worried that using such a young narrator wouldn't do the story justice. What I wasn't expecting was for Zach's voice to add an extra layer of emotion to an already emotional book. Zach's young age meant that he wasnt always able to understand fully what was happening in a scene, however the reader is painfully aware, long before Zach is, as to the horror that has befallen his family. But its Zach's lack of adult understanding that makes this book, his childs way of seeing the world and often times the truth of a situation that sometimes an adult just cant see.

This book drew me in and didn't let go until I had devoured every page. This is an outstanding debut novel for Navin and i look forward to reading more from her in the future.

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