Sarah's Stars

Siobhan David. A Swift Pure Cry  
David Fickling Books $22.99 ISBN 978-0-385-75108-7 310 pg.
Reviewed by Ceilidh, Age 15 

‘She’s making it up as she goes along,’ Jimmy pronounced.
You’re tickling, Trix! Stop!’      
‘Guess. What is it’
‘Dunno. Ocean waves?'
’No. ‘S load of snakes.’ Trix’s little hands reached right round Shell’s stomach, tickling as they went. They stopped when they got to the middle of the bump. ‘What’s that?’
Whisht, Trix. ‘S nothing. Just me.’

Fifteen year-old Michelle Talent, though she has always been known as Shell, lives in Coolbar, Ireland. She lives in a small house with her brother, Jimmy, her sister, Trix, and her alcoholic dad. Her mam died when she was young, but she still remembers her, and her pink dress. They are not a wealthy family, though they always seem to make it through. She goes to school, and makes the meals for the family everyday; she leads a fairly regular, a scheduled life. Every day, she takes a puff of Declan’s cigarette, and every day he makes fun of her. Her best friend, Bridie, takes this the wrong way and assumes that Declan and Shell are together. This, however, is not true. When Bridie says that she will never speak to Shell again, Shell’s life spirals down from there.

Emotions always seem to run high in the house that Shell lives in, which is why I find the situation a little relatable. I always try to relate to the book I am reading somehow, and this is how I found it. Though, I have never had a drunk for a father, or a dead mother, this book will put you in the place of Shell, even if it does speak through third person. The Gaelic terminology was easy for me to understand because I have an Irish background, but reading from an English point of view may be a little more difficult. The word whisht is frequently used; a word used for ‘quiet’ or ‘silence’. You will wish that there were some way that you could help poor Shell and her family. Follow her through her troubles, and don’t be worried about allowing your emotions to get the best of you.

I give A Swift Pure Cry four traditional stars.  I found the story a little difficult to get into, but once started, it’s amazing. I recommend this book for ages 13 and up; there are only a few curse words.


Home | Read | WriteCopyright | Privacy

This page was last updated on February 05, 2008 by the KIWW Webmaster.