Yip Tolroy is different.
Since he was born – in 1815, Heron’s Creek, Georgia – Yip has not spoken a word. Fatherless and friendless, at fourteen years old he’s no more than chest-high to anyone in his small town.
Everybody stares, but nobody thinks he has anything to say.
But then gold is discovered nearby, and Yip commits a grievous crime. In the company of a new and unlikely comrade, Dud Carter, he must leave town – on a journey that will introduce them to the wonder and horror of the American frontier – and learn to make his voice heard.
Thank you to the publisher for gifted proof copy of My Name is Yip – a lucky competition win on Twitter I think!
My Name is Yip is the extraordinary story of Yip, told in his own unique voice. Born mute and deemed ‘dumb’, Yip looks different – he is short – what we would now call dwarfism I suppose and he has no hair anywhere on his body. Needless to say he attracts attention. In early 19th century Georgia, Yip is not welcome in the community, at school or to play with other children and much is presumed about him due to his mutism. Even his mother struggles to warm to him.
A kindly doctor teaches him to read and write – giving him a voice for those willing to listen. An unlucky twist gets him caught up in a murder and he flees his home town with Dud Carter, an accomplice. An unlikely friendship ensues as these two embark on a startling adventure.
An epic story that captures just a small timeframe from Yip’s life. Yip’s distinctive voice tells his story in a way that despite first impressions is surprisingly readable. Short chapters keep the pages turning and memorable characters keep it flowing. At the start of the gold rush Yip and Dud flee, everyone is seeking their fortune but is it worth dying for. On the road they encounter some interesting characters and without spoilers this story sensitively explores some contemporary issues of the time.
Brave, sad, shocking and moving are all words that could be used to describe this book, but in Yip, the author has created a memorable character with a strong voice. A tremendous piece of historical fiction and a strong debut. I will remember Yip and his story warmly, despite some staggeringly sad moments.
A recommended read which is available to buy now. Thank you again to the publisher for my prize copy.
About the Author
Paddy Crewe was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1991. He studied at Goldsmiths, University of London. My Name is Yip is his first novel.