Review: Impossible Music

Music is Simon’s life—which is why he is devastated when a stroke destroys his hearing. He resists attempts to help him adjust to his new state, refusing to be counselled, refusing to learn sign-language, refusing to have anything to do with Deaf culture. Refusing, that is, until he meets G, a tough-as-nails girl dealing with her own newly-experienced deafness.

What happens when a musician loses his hearing? Is he still a musician? Can he still even make music?  That is what Impossible Music is about.

Simon suddenly loses his hearing in a rare way in which there is no recovery. The problem is that he lives and breathes music; he can’t imagine doing anything else.  He shares his frustrations with a girl named G from his class for the newly deaf. They both are resistant in learning Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and immersing into Deaf culture. Their journey, especially Simon’s, in navigating this new way of life was an interesting read, and I really felt for the characters. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is to not only lose a sense, but one that is critical to your passion.

I saw that there was a lot of critical reviews of this book, for quite a few different reasons. Maybe I’m not as in-tune with Deaf culture as some of those readers are, due to me not knowing anyone who is fully deaf, but I personally felt like the author did a good job with writing a story that deals with this situation. As far as the timeline of the story – sort of jumping back and forth over the course of the months since Simon’s hearing loss – I didn’t feel like it was hard to follow. It was a lot easier than I expected, and it all flowed well to me in order to get a sense of his story.

I’m glad I took a chance in reading this book instead of listening to the negative reviews. I really felt this was a great story and it honestly rekindles my desire to be able to understand Deaf culture and learn ASL (American Sign Language) for myself, especially since I have some family members who are hard of hearing and partly deaf.

Rating: 5/5 stars

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