Sunday, November 28, 2010

Book Review: The Song of Whales by Uri Orlev

Title: The Song of Whales
Author: Uri Orlev
Pages: 108
Cybil Book #25


Synopsis from the website

This unique story deals with the special relationship between grandfather and grandson. Michael is a rather solitary only child who loves spending time with his grandfather. Grandfather`s house is very special: it contains all sorts of works of art and antiques. In the basement there is a wide variety of tools because Grandfather is good with his hands. When Grandfather becomes frail, he sells his house and moves in with his son`s family. Through the eyes of the boy, we find out about all the unpleasant undercurrents regarding money and inheritance, not to mention details about Grandfather`s housekeeper who, it is rumored, was once his lover.

The bond between Michael and his grandfather veers to the mystical when the elderly man starts taking his grandson along with him at night in his dreams. The two fly off together, sharing strange, wonderful and sometimes frightening experiences. In one dream, two grandfathers appear and Michael does not know who to turn to. Later, Grandfather explains that one is his good side and the other his bad side. Michael is clearly shaken by this dream. When Grandfather dies, he leaves Michael a mystical legacy which will bind the two forever. 

My Thoughts 
I read this book to get back in the groove of reading. I took off a break and unplugged from all aspects of my regular life over this Thanksgiving break and stayed away from the Internet, computer, reading young adult books, etc. and just spent all my time with my family when not coaching basketball. It was a delight. Sunday I needed to get back into my rhythm and therefore picked up this book as it was small and for some reason intrigued me.

I liked this story. I felt as I read that I should be paying attention for a deep message and constantly found myself "reading between the lines" to find that A-HA! moment. There were a few times that I had a moment that caused me to stop and reflect. I am choosing not to share those moments as I feel they are personal and would only make sense to me and things in my life. 

Would this book have appeal to a younger audience? That is hard to say. I think that there are some who could really relate to Michael and understanding what it is like to be different from everyone else your age. I think that others would read this book and miss out on what the essence of the story really is(this may be different to each reader). I found a connection and in many ways I felt the same emotions reading this as I did reading one of my favorite books Tuesdays with Morrie, but just not as deeply.

This was a perfect read to get me back in my groove. One that gave me pause and verified the importance of taking time like I did this break to just be with my family.
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