Author: Jacqueline Woodson
No. of Pages: 180
First Released: 2002
Synopsis (Courtesy of B&N): “Toswiah Green’s life ended the moment her policeman father decided to testify against a fellow officer. The Greens have had to change their identities and move to a different city. Now Toswiah is Evie Thomas, and that is the least of the changes. Her defeated father spends his days sitting by the window. Since her mother can no longer work as a teacher, she puts her energy into their new church. Her only sister is making secret plans to leave. And Evie, struggling to find her way, wonders who she is now and how she can make her future as bright as her past once was.”
Comments and Critique: Many bloggers have been touting Ms. Woodson and her writing for months now, so I knew I had to pick up at least one of her works. I am proud to say that my fellow bloggers are not wrong. Hush was every bit as phenomenal as they said it would be.
It goes without saying that being a pre-teen and having to start a new life completely and utterly is both painful and torturous. This is the obvious point of the novel. What Ms. Woodson does is to go beyond the obvious. What gives us our identity? Is it our name? Our family? Our birthplace? The color of our skin? Is it one thing or many? More importantly, should it be one thing or many?
Hush identifies the poignant and painful journey Evie takes to discover just who she is at a time in her life when she was already struggling to do so. It is dramatic in its simplicity while confusion, loneliness and questioning ooze from every word. Added to that, Ms. Woodson adds the undercurrent of tension in regards to the decisions made by Evie’s father, further complicating her desire to discover who she is.
Hush is a quick read, clocking in at 180 pages, but it is one that stays with you for a long time as you ponder what identity truly means. I highly recommend this simple but thought-provoking novel.
This book fits my 100+ Reading Challenge and my Read ‘n Review Challenge. Mr. FTC, I bought this with my own money.
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