Azadeh is a budding violinist on a music scholarship at an expensive private school, dealing with all the usual trials of being sixteen: trying her best to fit in, keep up and have fun. Then as her mum’s mental health spirals out of control, Azadeh’s world starts to unravel. Her friendships fall away, and as much as she and her dad try to keep a lid on everything, their problems insist on taking over. Feeling alone, it’s her violin that finally helps Azadeh to find her way back to her friends, herself and even her mum.
Thank you so much to Molly at Hot Key Books for the stunning, finished, hardback copy of The Silver Chain. When I say stunning I mean STUNNING! This is a book written in verse and as such the layout of the writing is varied with beautiful illustrations and gorgeous backgrounds. This really is a book to own and cherish.
Now if you haven’t read any books in verse, I urge you to rectify this as soon as possible. The Silver Chain is a good book to start with, eloquently written about Azadeh, a talented violinist trying to fit in, in her rich private school where she is a scholarship student. Always feeling less, she is conscious of her peers wealth, their cars, homes and disposable income, while her family stuggles to manage on her father’s earnings as a self employed electrician. Add to this her mother’s mental illness and for Azadeh life feels very difficult.
The depictions of mental illness were sensitively written and vividly depicted Azadeh’s worries about her mother’s deteriorating condition, her lack of insight and her erratic behaviour and shame relating to this.
The use of verse to tell a story gives the narrator a vibrant and distinctive voice and this gives the story life. The nature of verse makes the story fast to read and again that gives strength to the voice with the finished result being a powerful story in told in the first person.
An accessible read this would absolutely appeal to young adult readers, but as a more ‘mature’ reader I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
Thank you again to the publishers for this book and thank you everyone for reading.
About the Author
Jion Sheibani is half-English, half-Iranian and grew up in Brighton. She now lives in Paris with her family. She is a self-taught illustrator and studied English literature at Oxford University. One of her very first jobs was as an intern to Green Party MP Caroline Lucas in the European Parliament. Jion was a teacher at Sciences Po and ENSAE in Paris before opening her own language school for children. Jion loves poetry and playing the violin.