Talking to the Moon by S.E. Durrant
This is another subtle dramatization of family life by S.E.Durrant, who seems to always discuss the little talked about aspects of family life in a warm and moving yet ‘normal way’.
Set against the seaside backdrop of Brighton with its piers and pebble beach, this is the story of 10 year old Iris and the endearing relationship she has with her grandmother. Mimi, Iris’ grandmother is becoming more and more muddled and confused whilst Iris is temporarily living with her so Iris has to try and cope with the effects of this on everyday life and the anxiety that comes with it: jam on the scrambled eggs, clean washing in the cat’s bed and fish hanging on the washing line. The story tackles the subjects of dementia and generally getting old with a soft focus without being too sad.
Iris struggles to cope with and hide her eccentric grandmother’s odd behaviour and enjoy spending time with herat the same time, cue Iris’ annoying but generally kind new friend next door, Mason who is a helpful distraction. Mason and Iris try to solve the mystery of the child in the photo- Mimi’s cousin Coral who disappeared as a child, this simple yet satisfying storyline adds another needed dimension to the story and gives the reader a clear resolution.
This is a slow-paced story but beautifully told with enough events, interesting characters and inference to suit individual or class reading with discussion. The way S.E. Durrant highlights the close bond between a child and their grandparent and shines a light on uncomfortable matters of family life is worthy of discussion.