Typical Talia: “My arm is where Dad prefers to write.”
“‘Yes, sir.’ Because that’s the best response to Dad’s rules. The lawyer makes the laws. Breaks the laws. Then rewrites the laws so he looks innocent. That’s how Dad roles.”
Talia does not know any reality but this. Rules, lists of housework, limited access to everyone outside the house, punishments for the slightest disobedience. Somewhere along the line she understood that this was not the world her classmates lived in, but she could not do a thing. She and her brother are trapped screaming for help with silent voices. Until a boy from class suddenly starts breaking down the barrier Talia was forced to put up. While hope slowly brews in her heart, Talia wonders how long until discovery and another punishment.
Swimming Through Clouds is a beautiful tragic story that tells of the reality of too many boys and girls. Rajdeep Paulus portrays the story very bluntly, with hope and despair trying their best to push the other one out of Talia’s heart. The mutual care that Talia and her brother had for each other was one of the most heartening parts of the book.
Talia is helped not only by the caring classmate but also by a book in which she reads about the Gardener and the woman who bled for twelve years. This story is, very clearly, the story of the woman who had bled for twelve years. Talia sees herself in that woman and gleans hope from her healing. Altogether, this is a beautiful genuine heart-hurting book that does not lack in either reality or the promise of a future.
Swimming Through Clouds is the first in the Swimming through Clouds series. The second is Seeing Through Stones and Soaring Through Stars.
For more on Rajdeep Paulus, visit her website and Facebook page.