Friday, March 25, 2011

RHUBARB by Craig Silvey


A blind girl and a reclusive boy connect and learn to heal from personal trauma over cello music and rhubarb.


This is a sweet, sad, but ultimately uplifting story about the aftermath of tragedy for two young people. They are each stunted in some way by their experiences, and they struggle with the insomnia and ignominy of memory.

At its heart, this is a love story. Silvey explores themes of loss, betrayal, healing, music, and family. He includes many funny moments and a few very memorable characters. He uses animals (a guide dog, two possums, a hermit crab) to personify and enrich the lonely worlds of Eleanor and Ewan.

The style of this little novel is lyrical and poetic, full of repetition and alliteration. Silvey has a unique way of using words to create images and emotions that are original and endearing. His very vocabulary makes you think, and it makes you want to keep reading.


This is my account of Craig’s event at the HK literary festival


I bought the paperback edition at the literary festival event and it was expensive (really expensive). The book was imported from Australia and it is not available on Kindle (yet).


Do you think we need to connect with other people in order to overcome grief, or can we heal in solitude?

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