Tag Archive | Orion Books

Lilac Skies by Shivani Bansal

Powerful & Heartbreaking

Lilac Skies by Shivani Bansal is a powerful and heart-breaking historical novel that consumed me.

Lilac Skies is a novel by a woman about women. It is set mainly from 1942 and onwards to the mid 1960’s as we follow a young Asian girl from her teen years to marriage and beyond. We witness that girls are not always valued. They are seen as second class citizens. It is heart-breaking to witness. “Every night she swore she would love her daughter for eternity, should she ever have one.”

Arranged marriages are part of the culture. It is hard to witness the pain as a young girl is severed from her birth family to marry a stranger and to move across a continent.

The role of women in a marriage was often hard, so much was expected of them. They were at the mercy of their husbands, seen as possessions and punching bags more than a life partner. “She had heard neighbours hitting their wives before… She knew it was potentially part of being a wife.” It is heart-breaking to see that hitting is normalized and no one does anything about it.

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When I See Blue by Lily Bailey

So Very Powerful

When I see Blue by Lily Bailey is a powerful children’s novel that explores the condition of OCD. It is perfect for ages ten years and over. I found it such a powerful insight into this paralyzing condition.

The novel is told in the first person from the point of view of twelve year old Ben. The reader really gets to know him as we witness the conflicts that play out in his head.

Lily Bailey shows the way thoughts, routines and fixations can really run amok in a mind. There is no ‘quick fix’. The person suffering from OCD really cannot help it and needs love, care, understanding and professional help to be able to cope with day to day life which we all take for granted.

The reader accompanies Ben to counselling. It helps us to better understand what is going on in the mind of a young sufferer.

Ben feels isolated. He feels an outsider and alone. School can be a cruel and lonely place as there is a pack mentality.

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