The life stories of ten year old Mouse and elderly William are intermingled in this moving tale of tragedy, guilt, and troubled relationships. Voiceless Mouse is an enchanting character, the Pennine landscape is evocative and William’s wartime experiences of the Cossacks in Italy in 1945 add an interesting dimension to the story’s themes. Although I found the resolution to be a little rushed I still think this is a lovely book.
In the photograph in my bedroom he is still eleven, his eye drawn not to the camera but to the sea. I want to know how much of an eleven-year-old is still part of someone who is very old. Are they the same person? If you could somehow bring the boy to life, would he recognize the old man that he has become? Or would he pass him by on the street, not knowing that this was him? Would I do this to the old woman who is me? Will I look back at scrawny Mouse de Bruin at the end of my life and wonder who she was and where she went? If, by then, my own words have returned, will I remember how it was to be a Mouse with no voice?