The Weight of Water is my first experience of a novel written entirely in verse. It's about a twelve year old Polish girl called Kasienka who migrates to the UK with her Mum when her Father runs away with an English woman. Life isn't as rosy as Kasienka imagined it would be; stuck in a one-room studio flat in Coventry and subject to prejudice and bullying at school, Kasienka has to grow up fast.
Reading a novel in verse was a strange experience at first, but after a while I forgot that I was reading poetry and just became wrapped up in the story. Writing it in verse allowed Crossan to really get inside Kasienka's head, meaning that parts of the story had a lot of emotional resonance. The topic of bullying was dealt with very well, reading them I was reminded of what it is like to be a teenager;
"It doesn't matter what I wear.
I always look different:
My clothes are too heavy -
That much I can tell.
And I have no real vision,
I just don't see what's wrong."
The Weight Of Water is a quick read that I breezed through in an afternoon. Whilst I was reading it, I felt connected to Kasienka and engaged to her story. But looking back now, a few days later, the story has had no real impact on me. Although Crossan is strong in dealing with growing up, first love and bullying, lots of the issues around immigration are skimmed over leaving a shallow impression. It's a book that I think could have had a lot more depth than it did.
Verdict: Worth reading if you have never read a novel written in verse before.
First Published: Jan 2012
Score: 3 out of 5
I loved this book! It was my second experience with verse (the first time I didn't enjoy it) and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it was just beautiful.ReplyDelete
Why didn't you enjoy it the first time, Belle. I did like the writing in verse in this one and would be happy to read another book like it.Delete
This is one of the Kindle spring sale books isn't it? Seems familiar but I think I prefer my novels in prose.ReplyDelete
Indeed it is! I picked it just for the novelty factor of reading a novel written in verse.Delete
I've only read one book in verse (The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus) and it was excellent. It completely surprised me.ReplyDelete
The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus looks good, all of the other novels in verse I've seen have been for the YA audience. I'll keep a look out for it :)Delete
The first novel I've read in verse, sonnets to be exact, was Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate Bridge. It's an interesting way to read a novel, and like a compilation of letters, affords us a new perspective on the characters/story.ReplyDelete
I didn't know Vikram Seth had a novel in verse! I've been meaning to read A Suitable Boy for the longest time, but the length is off-putting. I might try this first now, to introduce myself to his work.Delete
I hate when I go back to review a book a few days later and I can't remember what resonated about the story. It certainly sounds like an interesting idea, though!ReplyDelete
That's one of the ways I pick the outstanding books from the rest - the outstanding books just stay in your memory. I finished Song of Achilles 2 days ago and I'm still going over the events in my head now.Delete
Exactly! You find yourself musing about the characters and remembering the impact of the events in the book long after it is back on the shelf.Delete
hmmm, sounds interesting.ReplyDelete
never read a novel written in verse before.
Me neither, it's worth reading just for the new experience :)Delete