Thursday, July 11, 2013

Review: The Mouse-Proof Kitchen by Saira Shah

I usually have a lot to say or at least general points I like to mention in reviews but this time I feel so all over the place with this novel... I really don't know what to say or how to begin.

The novel begins with Anna and Tobias welcoming their daughter Freya into the world. Right from the beginning it's obvious that there's something wrong with her. While in the ICU of a an English hospital, they are given a vague diagnosis that their child is severely disabled. They at once begin to loathe this child and how she will ruin their perfectly made plans. One of these plans includes moving to France where Anna can open a restaurant and Tobias to practice his music thing.

Eventually they buy possibly the most dilapidated house in all of France. A house full of mice, bugs, dirt, structural issues, and a plethora of other things that a good home inspection would have requested this house to be condemned. For some obscene reason these parents think that a disabled child can be raised in such a mess since there's always the option of... you know what.

I've felt every sort of emotional imaginable towards Anna and her invisible husband Tobias through much of the novel. The most vivid emotion I remember feeling is anger. But then again I have no children, I have no idea what I'd do or how I'd react if the child I birthed were severely disabled. Their bitching and moaning didn't help with my feelings towards them.

Saira Shah writes an emotion-packed debut novel that at times I felt I shouldn't be reading because of it's honesty. I really felt that I was let in on a secret that I shouldn't know and now I can't unknow it. This novel is well written and will cause readers to laugh, cry, boil over in anger, and also count the blessings that they do have. Of course there's no way to truly mouse-proof a kitchen but that's no reason not to see the beauty in the moments filled with rodents. ****

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