professornana (professornana) wrote,

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Wrong Hands

Preparing for the speaker circuit has cut into my reading time ironically. It takes so much time to put together presentations tailored for different groups and audiences, and I seem to spend more time on Power Point than on sitting back with a book. However, I took some time this week to read Nigel Richardson's debut novel, THE WRONG HANDS. Originally published last year in England, it has traveled across the pond looking for an American audience. Readers who loved SKELLIG by David Almond will appreciate the story of Graham and his hands. Richardson lets the story unfold slowly as we meet Graham and he makes references to his hands which are somehow deformed, perhaps webbed in some way. His parents tell him to keep his hands quiet and even hidden for when others see Graham and his hands, trouble erupts. Graham is sent to live with his uncle in London where he miraculously rescues a baby following a plane crash. He is at first a hero and then, again there is suspicion cast on Graham and his activities. Police interrogations, sensational news stories in the tabloids, and a failed suicide attempt on the part of Graham's mother conspire to make the climax of this story incredibly uplifting (pun intended). Readers will have to be patient with Richardson who does not permit this story to take off quickly but keeps it grounded in a rather surreal reality. The cover is fascinating as is the one that appeared on the Brit version. I wonder if readers might have preferred the more bold cover from the British edition?


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