Lowenstein, Sallie. 2008. In the Company of Whispers.
Weird. Weird. Weird. There is really no other way to describe this one. Weird doesn't equal bad. Not really. Especially not in this case. But it does mean different, very very different. That is unless you can name a list of novels that are part memoir and part science fiction that focus on Burma's troubled past in the 1950s and a Big-Brother type government of the 2040s. Certainly none came to my mind.
I'll try to give you an impression of what you'll find IN THE COMPANY OF WHISPERS. First, you'll find lots of quotes. These are drawn from the Burmese culture--history, mythology, etc. Second, you'll find lots of photos. Black and white photos. There is a list (an appendix perhaps?) of photo credits. That's something you don't find every day. Third, you'll find letters, personal letters, from 1958. These letters are based on those from the author's family from their time in Burma. Fourth, you'll find a fictional story of a family and society in turmoil. This is where the science fiction elements come more into play.
So it was interesting and fascinating in a way. But very strange and other-ly as well.
Three strange characters share this futuristic story--Zeyya, a teen girl, Granna, her grandmother, I think her name might be Louise but I'm not 100% sure, and Jonah, a tattooed stranger that appears on their doorstep soon after Zeyya's parents are "quarantined."
Another review: Wands and Worlds.
© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews