Thursday, 20 October 2016

One - Sarah Crossan

One by Sarah Crossan

Reviewed by M

One - Sarah Crossan
I adored and raved about Sarah Crossan’s The Weight of Water and bought many hardback copies as gifts for other people. Tumultuous twists and turns of life have taken me a very long time to read One, but I’m sure Tippi and Grace would understand.….

One is Sarah Crossan’s second verse novel and it is wonderful. Short chapters, or mini poems, tell the poignant and thought-provoking story of sixteen year old Tippi and Grace, twin sisters  joined at the hip: a girl with two heads or two girls with one set of legs? One or two? And which is normal?

Told from Grace’s perspective, the novel also draws in the effects that their bodies have on other people: parents, siblings, boys with nut-brown eyes, strangers with phone cameras and doctors who prod and probe.

As deep and moving as the subject matter is, Crossan still manages to deliver it with a charming light touch, and I think I detected slightly more humour in One than The Weight of Water. It is also set in New Jersey, USA and so there are some Americanisms, like ‘mom’ and ‘bangs’.

As with The Weight of Water, One is a short novel that delivers all sorts of emotions and moral dilemmas in a compulsive single sitting read. Some people might prefer to take their time and read it more slowly, savouring each delicious morsel. There will be tears.

Highly, highly recommended. I think I preferred it even more than The Weight of Water.

As a heads up, We Come Apart, Sarah Crossan’s new verse novel, jointly authored with Brian Conaghan, will be published in February 2017.

One won the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016, so I’m not the only one who loved it.


Publication details:
Bloomsbury, London, 2015, (this paperback edition: 2016)

This copy: mine!

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