12 January 2017

#AQuietKindOfThunder


- Losing Your Voice -



With the release of Sara Barnard's second novel A Quiet Kind of Thunder I've been asked to take part in something quite special, but I will get to that shortly because first I need to tell you why. You see every so often you get a book and you know it means something and A Quiet Kind of Thunder MEANS something. It is a rather special book as it gives a voice to a character that doesn't have one. It is a real and honest account of what it is like to deal with a crippling anxiety in todays society and it looks at the whys, the hows and ultimately the truths of one persons struggle with this condition. I've suffered from anxiety for many years and I sometimes cannot put into words what it feels like to be the way I am but A Quiet Kind of Thunder gave me the words to describe it. 

Now onto what we're doing today! As mentioned before with the lead up to publication day us bloggers were asked to take a moment and think what it would be like to not have a voice. Our mission, if we chose to accept it, was to think about the things we'd struggle with most in our lives if we couldn't simply use our words. In Sara Barmard's own words she said that these were the worst.

The Top Five Worst Times To Be Mute
As told by Steffi in A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard 
5) When you need the toilet 
4) When you’re bleeding
3) When you need a new pencil
2) When you look a bit suspicious 
1) When your best friend needs you

When I really thought about this it kind of hit a little too close for comfort. I went through a period in my life where I couldn't speak up, I was too scared to say what I felt because (whether is is rational or not) the idea of being mocked, judged or even questioned on my own opinion terrified me. I didn't want people to think I was stupid or wasting their time. I was never completely mute like our main protagonist Steffi but it isn't exaggerated when people refer to anxiety as 'crippling'. 

So in the name of A Quiet Kind of Thunder the list below shows the times that I think/know it would suck to be mute. These are the times that in my life I have struggled with simply because I couldn't open my mouth and say what I need to say. Some are the same as Sara's because quite frankly they are the worst times not to have a voice. 


My Top Five Worst Times To Be Mute

 When you need the toilet  
For the obvious reasons if you need to go you need to go and in certain situations you need to ask permission from a teacher or to leave a meeting to do this. However, imagine if you couldn't do that? As well as being mute this is also a really horrible one if you have anxiety because the last thing you want to do is draw attention to yourself. It might seem like something small but it becomes a big issue when you're too frightened to use your voice.   
 When you are lost 
Thank god for sat navs is all I have to say on this one. I've been in this situation before and my phone died so I couldn't use google maps and instead of stopping to ask directions I simply drove around until I found the right road... it added half an hour to an already long journey but I was too scared to ask someone.   
When you need to give a presentation  
THIS is hell for most people but just for a second think about the turmoil of giving a presentation IN FRONT OF PEOPLE when you struggle to simply ask to borrow a pen.   
When you are in trouble 
Okay I have the perfect example for this one! About a year and a half ago my car broke down on the motorway (in the fast lane just to make things worse) and I was stranded. I had people shouting abuse at me because I was holding up traffic and there was nothing I could do but call the breakdown people. LUCKILY I was at a point in my life where I was able to talk on the phone (a year earlier I struggled to do that due to anxiety) but if I couldn't make that one phone call I could have been in a lot of trouble. More trouble that I was already in. If I had been mute this could have been a life or death situation.   
When your best friend needs you 
It might be a broken heart, a failed exam, a bad day at work or simply they need an ear to bend. When your friends need you they need you and not being able to be there for them is heartbreaking. They feel let down and you feel like the worst friend possible. However, sometimes no matter how much you want to be there and say the right thing to make them feel better the words just don't come. It might not seem as bad as one or two of the others but this is the one thats hard to deal with. When you can't be there for your best friend because you can't speak is soul crushing. 



So that's my top five moments, but why not take a moment and think about what it would be like to lose your voice. To struggle with asking for help when you need it and write your own list. Comment bellow with your top times and let me know what you think it means to be mute. 





Pages: 320 
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: January 12th 2017
ISBN: 9781509810987
Received From:  Macmillan Children's Books


Summary 


Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.
 
Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it. 

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