By Author / Illustrator
S. E. Durrant
Family & Home
Nosy Crow Ltd
Paperback / softback
Iris's grandmother, Mimi, has started to put jam on her scrambled eggs and tie blue ribbons around her fingers to remind her of stuff. Her house, always full of things, is becoming harder and harder to navigate, and when Iris goes to stay, she feels as if a whole life is becoming muddled up. As her grandmother's memory fades, a mystery is uncovered. Who is Coral, and what happened to her?
A moving exploration of memory and stories, told through the eyes of a grandchild losing a beloved grandparent to dementia. Beautifully, engagingly told, this is an ultimately hopeful book for our time.
Iris is living with her grandmother, Mimi, to escape the chaos of life at home, the damp and black mould creeping across her bedroom walls and the antics of the two-year-old twins. Mimi's house is not far from her own home, but life there is completely different from home.
Mimi used to be a photographer so her house contains many boxes of pictures and one photo which catches Iris's attention of a girl called Coral who looks like Iris. Mimi's memory is fading and as her behaviour becomes more bizarre, this picture becomes the focus of a mystery. Who was Coral and what happened to her?
Beautifully told, Talking to the Moon is a sensitive story about dementia. Mimi has always been a live-wire, an eccentric, but as her behaviour becomes increasingly odd, adding strawberry jam to scrambled eggs and tying ribbons to her fingers to remind her of things, Iris struggles to hide this from everyone else. The relationship between the two is wonderful. Mimi tries to help Iris with her worries and encourage her to make friends, but unwittingly adds to her concerns. There is much love in this story, which makes for many poignant moments.
There is a compelling element of mystery running through the story as well as Iris strives to uncover the story of Coral and find out who she was, leading to a very satisfying and emotional conclusion. Perfect for developing empathy and understanding, Talking to the Moon is another excellent story from SE Durrant whose previous books, Running On Empty and Little Bits of Sky are also essential reading. An emotional read with humorous touches, this is a story about family relationships, love and loss.
224 pages / Reviewed by Sue Wilsher, teacher
Suggested Reading Age 9+