Cammie Deveau began life with a few strikes against her: she’s visually impaired, abandoned by her mother at birth, her father was a casualty of the Second World War—and if all that isn’t enough, she’s being raised by her bootlegging aunt.
No wonder she dreams of starting a brand new life.
When Cammie learns about a school for blind and visually impaired children she becomes convinced a new life is waiting for her in Halifax, but how will she ever convince her aunt to let her go?
With the help of her best friend, they devise a plan to blow up the local moonshiner’s still. But Cammie has not managed to change her luck, and things get worse than she ever imagined
- An abusive guardian
- Drugs/drug addiction
- Alcohol/alcohol addiction
So I want to make it obvious right now that this is not an #OwnVoices book on being visually impaired, like I originally thought it was going in to it. It’s also not young adult or new adult, but middle grade. At the end of the novel, the author states that she got information about this disability from her mother with the same disability. I’m unsure whether other research was done, or if this account is accurate. That’ll obviously be down to other visually impaired people to decide.
Cammie doesn’t have a great life has she lives with someone who is abusive and she doesn’t know who her parents are. Her guardian also sells moonshine, and this was shortly after World War Two so at this point in time this was illegal. The whole plot revolves around Cammie making efforts to improve her life, and to get out of her abusive situation.
I like how this was done. It was very much in the style of historical fiction movies for children where something happens, it’s resolved quickly, panic over, then something else happens, etc. I personally enjoy this type of style. Some of the topics that they bumped into along the way, however, were really dark and I think covered really lightly and I think it would have been awesome to put a message here about other children in Cammie’s situation or something like that. As a read, though, it was enjoyable and none of the dark topics covered ever got into much detail.
I could also see the plot twist that happened near the end coming, but again…aimed at children, not adults in their early twenties.
In typical middle grade manor, the good characters are portrayed as good and the bad characters portrayed as bad and none of them seem to be in-between. This isn’t really a flaw, this is just the way middle grade books are written, but I would have liked a little bit more character development.
As far as Cammie goes, I like her. She had a bit of a Tracy Beaker style about her, but a 1950’s version. She was very sassy and knew exactly what it is she wanted, and knew exactly how to get what she wanted. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to people or do what she was afraid of doing. I really like Cammie.
Evelyn was also written as a very gentle and kind boy, and I really like it when boys are written like that as opposed to tough and protective. Ed, although a grown man, was written in a very similar way.
The writing style I enjoyed a little less and is part of why I bumped it down a star. It was just dragging, despite the book being so short, and tended to repeat itself and Cammie was explaining the obvious and explained what she was doing. It got repetitive and boring. Obviously, not bad enough for me to want to put the book down, but I wasn’t a massive fan.
I really enjoyed this although I’m not sure I should if this isn’t an accurate representation of visually impaired people. I liked Cammie, Ed and Evelyn the most. It was a lot of action, I was rooting for her the whole time. The ending kind of annoyed me, but I don’t want to reveal too much about that because spoilers obviously. I heard there was a second book and I’m probably going to read that, I really want to know what happens next and I really like Cammie’s character
Until next time,
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