It didn’t even occur to me that Marcus Sedgwick’s new novel She Is Not Invisible should count as a disability book, but then the Resident IT Consultant heard Marcus being interviewed about blindness on the radio the other day, and immediately demanded to read it.
I had seen somewhere that Laureth – the main character – was blind, but forgot and it takes a while before you realise. I was more taken by her younger brother Benjamin’s way of talking about coincidence. This is the seven-year-old brother Laureth begins the book by abducting, immediately feeling guilty over her actions.
My reading this book was not without its co-inky-dinks either. It’s the kind of thing that makes me happy, though. A bit like Laureth’s and Benjamin’s father, who is an author, and who is hellbent on dedicating his life to researching and writing a book about coincidence.
When it seems that her father has gone missing, and not from the place where they believed he was, and her mother shows little interest in this fact, Laureth decides to go to New York to find him. (That’s from London.) She knows she will need help to see, which is why she ‘abducts’ Benjamin and off they go.
It’s not the behaviour of your normal 16-year-old, popping to New York on a Saturday morning, just like that. But this is no normal story, and Laureth is a marvellous heroine, only upstaged by the stoic Benjamin. But then he’s got Stan, his toy raven.
She Is Not Invisible is full of co-inky-dinks. You have no way of knowing if the story will end in tears, or if you dare hope for a happy ending. An adult reader will be full of foreboding from the start, and will wonder how this can work out for the best.
There is no end to the strange things an author will do. I suppose Marcus should know…