The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe

The Sound of Letting Go by Stasia Ward Kehoe
Viking’s Children | Hardcover, 400 pages
February 6th, 2014
Young Adult | Contemporary
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Verse novels are my favourite things to read, but they’re difficult to review. I never know what to say, because I feel like I can never give the sparsely written, yet more often powerful novels, their due justice.

The Sound of Letting Go, though beautiful in its own right, had me conflicted. On the one hand, I think Ward was very successful in conveying what it’s like for a family to make a difficult choice of relieving themselves of caring for a violent autistic child. And on the other, she didn’t really convince me that Daisy’s anger towards her parents is in the right place. It’s in the way she rarely interacted with her brother. Never once did I feel that she was really that close to her brother in the first place, and therefore, I didn’t think her anger and her cause for the mild rebellion could be deemed justified.

This is the story of a prodigy whose family life is on the verge of an upheaval. Having lived most their life in the shadow of fear, they knew it would only take one episode for their carefully constructed life to fall apart. They have talked about it, expected it even. But when it finally happened, they were consumed by guilt that all they could only feel was relief.

I have an 18-year-old niece with autism. She’s beautiful and quiet who likes the chatter of the radio, but never violent. She mostly sits contemplatively with a serene smile on her face. Before, when we didn’t know what would appease her, she’d burst out and cry and all we could do was look on helplessly. We didn’t know what she want…until you turn up the radio. Then she goes quiet.

Daisy’s brother is different. He doesn’t like noise. He gets violent. He hurts himself. The everyday struggle within their home is exhausting to watch. And the heartbreaking (understandably) way each of them tries to escape persisted throughout the novel.

The mild rebellion that Daisy tried to do didn’t really do much. Because her parents were so focused on her brother, they didn’t seem to care. I think the better half of the synopsis is wildly exaggerated. If you think there will be a full on rebellion with the bad boy, you’ll be sorely disappointed. In fact, Dave is a sweetie. Also, if you’re not a fan of love triangles, don’t let that summary fool you. There is no love triangle. I don’t know why the author would scare me like that.

Over all, I was mildly satisfied with this novel. And if it’s romance you’re after, you’ll get that in spades here.

  • I've heard of this one, but didn't know it's in verse. Don't think I would be able to read a book in verse, I've tried before but it didn't really work out.
    The theme sounds really interesting, though, something I don't see much in YA. So maybe I will check this out sometime.
    Great review 🙂

  • I´ve never read a verse novel but I recently bought one because I want to try to read one.
    Great review!

  • I really like the idea of this novel, but I struggle a lot with verse which is why I haven't picked this up. Seeing as it focuses on the romance and the relationships aren't fleshed out as well as they could be, I think I'll be skipping this one. Thanks for your honest thoughts! 🙂

  • The only verse novels that I have read were for school requirements.

    This one seems interesting though, and the topic is quite a touchy subject for some people. My friend's sister does have autism and it's true that a family struggles to find what may appease the person when having tantrums. My family's always thought that they are the lucky charms in a family.

    So I checked out the synopsis, and it did sound like there's a love triangle. It does give readers a scare!

    Awesome review, Joy 🙂

  • maybe… maybe not, I confess I'm not sure about this one. I never read something like that but at the same time the idea are interesting. I should try and see perhaps.

  • Wow I love verse novels, this one sounds like a great read. I think I saw it on Netgalley or something… Great review! I might just read this one when I'm looking for a Romance.

  • Great review Joy. <3 I'm glad you kind of enjoyed this book. The cover is so so gorgeous. Sigh. But aw. It sucks that you didn't feel like she was close to her brother : She should have been. Grr. Still. It does sound like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing 🙂

  • You should, Shannon. I can't deny the beautiful way Stasia wrote it but I unfortunately, ran into some problems with the character.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • Thanks, Brandi. It is rough. Especially to the families who are trying the best they can.

  • You should definitely give them a try. They're typically shorter than a normal novel.

  • I have only read a few verse novels but I am a fan in general. This subject matter sounds like it might be a bit much for me, Im a softie, but I might try and give it a chance.

  • Autism is a rough disease on the person who has it and the families. I don't usually read novels in verse, I am not that critical of a thinker in that way, but great review.

  • I've never read a verse novel before and even though you gave this 3 start review I might give it a try.