Early in the book, we are shown a flashback to the main character's childhood. It's plain in some of the descriptions that the main character has what I thought at first was synesthesia. Hell, that may be what she has, and her... other abilities... may be a side effect of it, or her synesthesia may be a side effect of her other abilities, or whatever. But her other abilities only recently manifested, and hadn't been mentioned at that point. Anyway, what I want to comment on is that in the flashback, the main character (a girl) is like 5 or something and is asking her mom if to "look at the stars" when she clinks the spoons together; the child is exasperated that her mother can't see the stars that form when spoons are clinked together. Now, once her mother realizes that the child isn't imagining the stars, she reacts with intense fear. Fear of, or for, the child; or both. And then got very Dursleyish about it. At this point, I stared at the page in disbelief and utter bewilderment. Fear? Fear of what is clearly synesthesia? Was this based on reality at all? I then spent the next hour with my brain spinning its tires, stuck in a quagmire of thought, as I tried to process this. Because I can honestly say, this reaction is so far outside of my reality tunnel, there aren't words adequate to express my feelings. Never in a billion years would I have ever reacted this way to synesthesia, nor ever guessed that anyone ever would.
I mean, really. I can, with difficulty, see the path of twisted logic one must take to be a Republican, a fundie Xian, or even a flat-earther. Those paths look to me like the logical equivalent to swimming across the Pacific Ocean while yodeling to get to Japan, but I can at least see how one could get there that way. But I can't even begin to figure out the path one's life would have to take to be afraid of/for someone with synesthesia. About the only coherent thought I could form about this woman was, "People like that should not be raising children." I truly mean that, too; if something as simple as synesthesia terrifies you to the point where you slap your child because she has it, scream at her, and treat her like she's insane because of it, then you should not be breeding, and you should not be raising children.
Granted, later on in the book it becomes clear that something else is going on, too; she has some kind of superpowers, it looks like. But that's not really relevant, because I don't think her mother has any clue about any of that.
This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1125564.html
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