Review Blog

Jul 17 2013

What the raven saw by Samantha-Ellen Bound

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Woolshed Press, 2013. ISBN 9781742757353.
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended. Death. Humour. Animals. With a sense that he is better than the others around him, the raven sits on his perch in the crumbling belltower, watching all that happens to both human and animal alike beneath him. He loves his time with the priest, a man who sees him in some divine light, and who plays the organ singing with the raven. He sees the warden pilfer money from the collection plate, and worries about the deception of the kindly priest. He avoids the smelly pigeon with its rank sense of taste and recycled words, and keeps away from the weatherhen convinced that she watches where he hides his treasure.
Watching the funeral of a young boy, he is surprised by the sullen sister who refuses to participate, running off into the churchyard. He sees her again, this time at her brother's grave, bringing along a croissant with her tears. Shortly after the ghost of the dead boy, Todd, asks him for help. He wants his sister to know that his death is not her fault.
The grumpy raven refuses to help as he does not want to talk to humans, but gradually he is drawn into their grief, the girl who thinks she has caused her brother's death, the boy who cannot rest until she knows he does not hold her responsible.
Told from the raven's perspective, the tale of the acceptance of death by the two children is extraordinary. The judgmental raven is a perfect narrator and learns that there is more to life than his sparkly collection and snide remarks.
Fran Knight

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