Compulsive Overreader

Along with borderline hypergraffia, my other literary disorder is -- I'm a compulsive overreader. I'd like to say that I'm trying to get it under control, but I'm clearly not. Check out the archives here to find what I'm reading and what I think of it. If you came here directly through blogger --if your page has no yellow frames and no pretty pic of me in the top left corner -- you may want to visit my main site at, where you can read this blog and much much more.


I'm Trudy Morgan-Cole, a writer from St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. My books include "The Violent Friendship of Esther Johnson," "Esther: A Story of Courage," and "Deborah and Barak." I'm also a married mom of two, a teacher in an adult-ed program, and a Christian of the Seventh-day Adventist kind. I blog about writing, reading, parenting, teaching, spirituality, and shiny things that catch my eye.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Deafening, by Frances Itani

I became aware of Deafening when it was Maureen McTeer's selection for this year's round of Canada Reads. It's the story of a deaf woman, Grania, who lives in a small Ontario town at the beginning of the twentieth century. Grania loses her hearing at age five due to an illness, learns to lip-read and sign, goes to a school for the deaf, marries a hearing man, and waits at home for her husband, Jim, to return from the first World War.

That's about all the plot there is to Deafening. Even speaking as someone who doesn't like plot-driven novels and is quite happy with a "slow" book, I found Deafening a little too slow. I thought the information about what it was like to be a deaf woman 100 years ago was interesting, but while Itani created Grania's world well, neither Grania nor Jim nor any of the other characters ever became truly compelling to me. As a "woman on the home front" WWI novel, it still doesn't beat Rilla of Ingleside. I'm not sorry I read this book; it was somewhat interesting, but it never grabbed me as I'd hoped it would.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved it because of the beautiful descriptions of sign language. However all other reviews were similar to yours.

8:14 PM  
Blogger TrudyJ said...

You're right, the descriptions of sign language are beautiful, and there's a lot to like about this novel -- I just wish it had been more compelling for me personally.

5:29 PM  

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