Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Book Review: No Use Crying by Zannah Kearns

Secrets, secrets, secrets, she thought. It's just another word for lying.
The discovery of a grandfather Niki thought had died years ago means a sudden move to London and the start of a whole new life.
Niki has to learn quickly to fit in and survive in the school halls and on the tough streets. And at the same time she must get to know her grandad and come to terms with the fact that her mum has been hiding the truth.
But when Niki suddenly discovers her mum's biggest lie of all, could it change their relationship -- and Niki's own sense of identity -- for good?


No Use Crying ~ a tall tales & short stories review

Zannah Kearns, the author of, No Use Crying, featured in my Diversity Matters series where she explained how - 'my life experience has been one of enjoying diversity, and I have come to realise how much I like to see that reflected in stories - not only the ones I write, but the ones I read, too.'

In No Use Crying, we meet Niki, an only child of a single mother who finds out many things in her life aren't quite what she thought. When her mum moves her back to live with her grandfather who she believed to be dead, it is the start of the collapse of the world Niki has always known.

This is a coming of age story set in inner city London and Zannah Kearn's tackles such issues as race, knife crime, domestic abuse, moving home and trying to fit in.  Everyone wants to try and find their place in the world and Niki is no different, but when she learns of her family's secrets and lies, she has to reassess much of what she believed to be true.

Zannah Kearns manages to incorporate many serious issues but with a light touch, they exist but don't overwhelm, the focus is primarily on the difficulties families can face in day-to-day life when they forget how to, or choose not to, communicate, so that small problems grow and fester until they form huge barriers in people's lives and the real truth becomes distorted and false.  Perhaps one of the most important things to take away from this book is that we should all try to trust and believe in each other, and that we should be open and honest about our feelings before families and relationships are torn apart.  None of us are perfect, and we all make mistakes, no matter how young or old we may be.


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