Monday 2 December 2013

Pan’s Whisper

Pan’s Whisper by Sue Lawson (Black Dog Books/ Walker)
PB RRP $ 18.95
ISBN 9781742032061
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Perfectly constructed with sparse prose, Pan’s Whisper is another of the shortlisted titles for the Children’s Peace Literature Award for Older Readers. Sue Lawson’s magnificent portrayal of the damaged teenager Pan, her placement within a caring foster home environment and journey towards inner peace, is a meticulous piece of writing.

Deeply moving although extremely painful to read in places, this book is a prime example of showing not telling. The point of view changes and what Pan believes to be true conflicts with her sister Morgan’s telling of the same situation. How misunderstandings cause inner conflict and what one sees or hears is not always how things are the story’s dominating themes.

Some scenes are tragic and the reader becomes Pan; feels her suffering and is torn by the same feelings of loss, grief, and lack of self worth. The supporting characters are a fine construction, perfectly synchronized with the message the writer is trying to convey. There is so much in this glorious read that this reviewer cannot do justice to this compelling piece of work that will not be forgotten. That is what a writer lives for and Sue Lawson has accomplished this.

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