Friday, 17 May 2013

Book Review: Kite Spirit by Sita Brahmachari

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; 1 edition (9 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330517929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330517928

During the summer of her GCSEs Kite's world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide after a long struggle with feeling under pressure to achieve. Kite's dad takes her to the Lake District, to give her time and space to grieve. In London Kite is a confident girl, at home in the noisy, bustling city, but in the countryside she feels vulnerable and disorientated. Kite senses Dawn's spirit around her and is consumed by powerful, confusing emotions - anger, guilt, sadness and frustration, all of which are locked inside. It's not until she meets local boy, Garth, that Kite begins to open up - talking to a stranger is easier somehow. Kite deeply misses her friend and would do anything to speak to Dawn just once more, to understand why . . . Otherwise how can she ever say goodbye? A potent story about grief, friendship, acceptance and making your heart whole again.

The morning of their first day of exams, Kite’s world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn commits suicide. Plagued with questions and a sense of suffocations, Kite’s dad takes her out of the city to the Lake District, to give her time and space to grieve.

Kite feels as though Dawn’s spirit is around her. She envisions her as an owl, soaring in the sky and leaving her mark on Kite’s window. Kite feels so many emotions she can barely process them, and can’t even cry. It is when she meets Garth, a local boy who helps her in more ways than she could ever expect. 

Kite Spirit was raw and beautiful, a truly haunting yet uplifting story. Kite’s grief radiated off the page and swirled in the air around me, much like Dawn’s presence did for Kite. 

With the rolling hills of the Lake District as the backdrop of this story, it really set the scene for Kite and her bleak mood. But as anyone who knows this area, when the sun breaks through, it is outstanding. 

Kite and Dawn’s history is cleverly revisited by the author in well timed flashbacks. We get a glimpse of the girl Dawn was, and also of the girl Kite was around her. Though totally different and from totally different methods of upbringing, the girls were inseperable. Kite wanted to swing in the circus, Dawn to play her oboe. Through these flashbacks we also begin to understand why Dawn may have taken her own life. 

It was at times hard to read, the story is very raw. But it was a pleasure to watch as Kite overcame her grief, and learned how to say goodbye and let go of Dawn and look into the future of her own life.

The other intriguing part of this book was Kite’s dad’s back story. As Kite is trying to imagine her future, her dad is trying to discover his past. A very well done secondary plot line.

I am sure first time readers of this author will be racing out to get her other books. 

Many thanks to MacMillan Children's Books for the review copy.


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