Sunday, 28 June 2015

What Milo Saw - Virginia Macgregor


Synopsis:

A BIG story about a small boy who sees the world a little differently

Nine-year-old Milo Moon has retinitis pigmentosa: his eyes are slowly failing and he will eventually go blind. But for now he sees the world through a pin hole and notices things other people don't. When Milo's beloved gran succumbs to dementia and moves into a nursing home, Milo soon realises there's something very wrong at the home. The grown-ups won't listen to him so with just Tripi, the nursing home's cook, and Hamlet, his pet pig, to help, Milo sets out on a mission to expose the nursing home and the sinister Nurse Thornhill.

Insightful, wise and surprising, What Milo Saw is a novel filled with big ideas, simple truths and an emotional message that will resonate with everyone. Milo sees the world in a very special way and it will be impossible for you not to fall in love with him, savour every moment you spend with him and then share his story with everyone you know.

What did I think?

This was another book that hooked me from the first page; I couldn't put down and finished it in two sittings.  Milo is such a wonderful character and despite only seeing a little bit of the world through his "pinhole" he sees things that other people don't notice.  I finished this book thinking "wow, I really do take my sight for granted".  As Milo rushes to expose the Forget Me Not nursing home before he loses his sight, I found myself swept along with the gang and was punching the air in delight every time Nurse Thornhill got captured on camera and the noose around her neck tightened.

The residents were a spunky bunch and sometimes Nurse Thornhill's actions were difficult to read about, as we have seen bad press about nursing homes.  I know the majority of homes are respectable and well run, but unfortunately this story could be more fact than fiction for some residents of nursing homes.

I liked the story of Tripi - we often hear of illegal immigrants in a negative way, but Tripi was willing to work and make a better life for himself.  The story of his escape from Syria was heart-wrenching and again with the things we have seen on the news, we can apply this to real life which makes it even more poignant.

I mustn't forget Hamlet the pig!  He is as loveable as Milo.  They complement each other and it was lovely when Milo sent Hamlet to Gran's nursing home to keep her warm at night.  A completely unselfish act by a wonderful little boy.  Now where do I buy one of these teacup pigs?

This book is ideal for readers who loved Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time but I would also put it alongside RJ Palacio's Wonder.  As I can't imagine what it would be like to lose my sight, this book really made me feel grateful for what I have.  I am in awe of people who don't let things like losing their site get in the way of life, as I'm sure I would be afraid to leave the house.  Although it is sad that Milo is losing his sight, he doesn't feel sorry for himself, and I found myself feeling respect for him rather than feeling sorry for him.

Despite the sad subject matter, it really is a feel good book!  I laughed out loud quite often at some of Milo's observations.  The author has really got inside Milo's skin and has written a most excellent book that everybody should read.

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:




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