Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Book Review for A Sign of Her Own by Sarah Marsh

 A Sign of Her Own by Sarah Marsh

Published February 6, 2024 by Park Row

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Taken from Goodreads:
  A mesmerizing tale of historical fiction that explores the legacy of the telephone centered on a young deaf woman, the prized student of Alexander Graham Bell.

Ellen Lark is faced with a dilemma. After losing her sense of hearing as a child, she’s learned from the best deaf school teachers, including Alexander Graham Bell. She is initially enamored by his charisma for teaching and unique mind for inventing, and becomes his close confidante. But after learning about Bell’s past, she has a new story to tell—that Bell has betrayed her and the deaf community in his work on the telephone.  

When a rival inventor disputes his right to the patent, Bell asks Ellen to speak up publicly in his defense as his gifted former student. Ellen knows that this is her one opportunity to tell the true story—her story—but to do so will risk her engagement, her future prospects and will defy her mother’s last wish for her.

Inspired by journals kept by Alexander Graham Bell's real deaf students,  A Sign of Her Own  casts new light on the inventor and the invention that would forever change how we communicate.  


My Thoughts:  This is a unique book.   The story of a deaf woman in a time when using your hands to talk was frowned upon is sent to learn to not use her hands to talk.   I was intrigued at the techniques that were used to teach her to read lips and Mr. Bell’s technique.   I found it interesting that growing up Ellen and her sister have their own sign language and then as she goes out in the world, she learns other languages using signs. 

I did not know much of Mr. Bell’s history.  I knew he was credited with inventing the telephone but not much more.   Sarah Marsh, the author, told a lot of the history of Mr. Bell and his work with the deaf.  Yet, his invention was not something the deaf would use for a very long time.  

There were times when I was reading, and I felt like I was lost.   I had to slow down (I am a fast reader) and read every single word of this book.   I would have liked to have more story and less history at times, since it was the history paragraphs that got confusing for me.    

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