The Weight Of Water by Sarah Crossan

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After reading Apple And Rain, and reading an ARC of One, I was intrigued to know that Sarah Crossan had written The Weight Of Water too. I picked up a copy from my local library (libraries are important you know!) and decided it was time to give it a read. 

Kasienka and her mother have left their home country, armed with just a laundry bag, and they’re heading for England. They rent out a hostel in Coventry, and Kasienka must go to school. In a new country. With no friends. She’s placed in year 7, where she’s been put down several years because she can’t talk English too well. The one thing she can do is swim. She can swim, and pretty well at that. Plus, she’s met that special someone too. But can she swim, or will she sink in England?

I love Sarah Crossan, but I’m really sorry that I didn’t like this book as much as I enjoyed Sarah’s other books.

First off, I want to start by saying that Sarah has told this book beautifully, but really unusually entirely through the means of poetry. This isn’t an anthology of poems like other books are, but you could compare it to an album: it’s a collection of individual pieces that have been crafted together to form a pretty eloquent story. And I really enjoyed that. It made it a pretty quick page turner, but take it in and there’s real beauty to be found in the story.

You’ll also notice that with the topic of immigration, Sarah has put an incredible amount of effort into writing this book, and the book even utilises some of Kasienka’s native language, which makes it a little bit more touching. 

As with Apple And Rain and One (if you’ve read it yet, if not it’s nearly time!), Sarah’s handled the issue in a beautiful way and she deserves to be commended in every way possible for that.

However, whilst I did really enjoy the way the story was told, I found that the method of poetry in The Weight Of Water to tell the story became confusing, and it became slightly hard to follow. Granted, I wouldn’t have had it another way, but it did become pretty confusing to read, and at one point I was completely lost. 

It’s also not, because it’s told in poetry, not a story that you can really read over a long period of time. Again, if you take it all in you can get several days out of it, but I don’t think it’s a book that you could use for a readathon for example. Not a critical note by any standard, just a thought!

But in any case, The Weight Of Water is yet another charming novel from an amazing author, who, by the way, may or may not have some more stuff in the works for you for next year so stay tuned for that. And in the meantime, happy reading book lovers!

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