Thursday, January 22, 2009

Secondary Deaf Character in Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy

Whitethorn Woods (2007) by Maeve Binchy

I literally found this book on my desk. Thanks to colleague Jane H. for reading this one to the end and then running it up the steps to let me know that she found a Deaf Character! This book is for adults but may be of interest for older teens.

Melanie is the Deaf Character in the story and shows up near the end of the book. Each section is told from a different character's point of view so this is her section. Melanie attended presumably a deaf school called St. Martin's a school "for girls like me"(359). She describes herself as "profoundly deaf" (359) and communicates in "sign language" and speech (363). She enrolls in a training program so that she can later teach deaf children (373).

Book Description
Everything is changing in Rossmore. No longer a sleepy Irish town, where young people leave to travel the world; nowadays it's a prosperous place, so busy that a new bypass has been proposed.
The people of Rossmore are divided, particularly since the road will go right through the Whitethorn Woods and the well dedicated to St Ann. It's a well thought by some to have near spiritual properties and by others dismissed as superstition. No one is more concerned than the honest and well-meaning curate Father Brian Flynn, who has no idea which faction to support. Surely Neddy O'Brien's family should take the compensation being offered for their land? But wasn't Neddy's mother given a cure at the well many years ago? And what about the childless London woman who came to the Whitethorn Woods begging the Saint for help, with the most unexpected consequences? Lifelong friends who first met on an Israeli kibbutz visit the shrine to sort out their marriages; a wealthy American seeks advice; and a murderess and her mother have both considered consulting the saint...

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