Book Reviews of The Sound of Us

The Sound of Us
The Sound of Us
Author: Sarah Willis
ISBN-13: 9780425203026
ISBN-10: 0425203026
Publication Date: 6/7/2005
Pages: 336
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 15

4.1 stars, based on 15 ratings
Publisher: Berkley Hardcover
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Sound of Us on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Alice Marlowe is realizing, at the age of 48, that there's more to life than having a comfortable home, a fulfilling career, and parents and friends that love her. When she's awakened in the middle of the night by a wrong number, Alice 's world is tilted on its axis--and the tilting may very well save her sanity.

A little girl, barely six years old, has called Alice by mistake, missing a phone number by a couple of digits. Larissa, the girl on the other end of the line, is looking for her Auntie Teya--and her mother. As Alice struggles to awake from her deep sleep, she realizes that this child is at home alone, with no one to feed her, bathe her, clothe her, or watch out for her. Doing something she's never before done in all of her life--take the iniative to do something impulsive--Alice ends up leaving the comfort of her home and going to Larissa's apartment, ostensibly to wait for the child's mother to return.

What follows is an emotional rollercoaster so superbly written that I was unable to put the book down once I began reading. Alice is forced to call the police when Larissa's mother doesn't return after several hours. Soon the Department of Children and Family Services is involved, with all the red tape, runarounds, and rigamarole that one would expect from an agency who operates with only so much funding and so many hours in the day.

As Larissa is placed in temporary foster care, Alice realizes that she wants to become a foster parent herself, to take care of Larissa if and until her mother can get her back. The journey that follows is an emotional one--Larissa is resentful, hurt, and angry, as only a child can be; Alice is apalled to realize how hidden she has made herself from the world, and how prejudiced she appears to be; Michelle, Larissa's mother, is alternately sorry for her brief abandonment and intolerable of criticism.

THE SOUND OF US is a rich novel on so many levels. Alice is already dealing with the loss of her twin brother the previous year, and the fact that her parents are getting older. She realizes that although she loves her job, being an interpreter for the deaf, she can't rely on it to be the sole basis for a fulfilling life.

Kudos to Ms. Willis for such an emotionally moving book. This is the first book I've read by her, but I've now added all of her previous releases to my reading list. You won't be disappointed by picking up a copy of this magnificent story.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 43 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
When rating or evaluating something, I rarely give the highest mark. It has to meet all the expectations I have as well as the goals and objectives set forth. A book would really have to grab me in topic, characters, readability, and realism. This book does. I give it 5+ stars.

The characters are real. The situations are accurate. The plot is honest. Everyone of us is on a path of self-discovery. Sometimes we end up on this path by accident realizing, only after the journey is well underway, what is happening. sometimes we purposely plan an set out on it. Alice Marlowe's journey begins with a misdialed phone number and the plaintive, scared voice of a six year old.

They journey together along separate paths. With the entrance of Larissa into Alice's life comes challenges that strip away the veneer of her life and gets at the soul of who she is. This is an easy read with a powerful message that forced me to examine some aspects of my own life.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 302 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book and couldn't put it down, read in less than a day. My 17 yr. old son watched a little girl of about 3 in the mall for long enough to realize that no one was with her. He called security, they told him that it was not as uncommon as he would like to believe. He just wanted to bring her home to me and keep her out of the mess of the system.
The book is well written, gentle and hard hitting at the same time. What is poor parenting, what is society's answer and how many chances does a parent get?
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 167 more book reviews
While it was not one of my favorites by Sarah Willis, I enjoyed the story.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 39 more book reviews
One call in the middle of the night changes two lives forever.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 6 more book reviews
I can't remember the last time I read a book as fast as I read The Sound of Us. From start to finish, it was a beautifully told story of how the love for and from a child can change a life.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 44 more book reviews
A story about how chance changes the course of our lives, and I like to think, just when we need it to grow in a new direction. Alice, unmarried, 48 and an interpreter for the deaf has recently lost her twin brother in a car accident. She is awakened in the night by a wrong number from a small girl who's mother has left her alone. Instead of calling the police, she goes herself to stay with the child, but when the mother still hasn't returned, she is forced to call the police herself and the child is put in the foster care system. She decides to become a foster parent herself when the child, Larissa, refuses to speak to anyone, and eventually becomes her foster mom. The rest of the book is about how this chance meeting changes Alice, and enlarges her life in so many ways.
This is the first book I have read by this author, and I did not care for her blunt, abrupt writing style. It read more like an offical case history of foster care than a story about three dimensional people. This made is hard to relate to the characters, identify with them, or care too much about them personally. It was not a memorable read.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 133 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. Well written with an intriguing premise: a white woman drawn into fostering a young biracial girl when the abandoned child called her home on accident. It is a wonderful story about love and life.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 7145 more book reviews
Alice Marlowe is realizing, at the age of 48, that there's more to life than having a comfortable home, a fulfilling career, and parents and friends that love her. When she's awakened in the middle of the night by a wrong number, Alice 's world is tilted on its axis--and the tilting may very well save her sanity.

A little girl, barely six years old, has called Alice by mistake, missing a phone number by a couple of digits. Larissa, the girl on the other end of the line, is looking for her Auntie Teya--and her mother. As Alice struggles to awake from her deep sleep, she realizes that this child is at home alone, with no one to feed her, bathe her, clothe her, or watch out for her. Doing something she's never before done in all of her life--take the iniative to do something impulsive--Alice ends up leaving the comfort of her home and going to Larissa's apartment, ostensibly to wait for the child's mother to return.

What follows is an emotional rollercoaster so superbly written that I was unable to put the book down once I began reading. Alice is forced to call the police when Larissa's mother doesn't return after several hours. Soon the Department of Children and Family Services is involved, with all the red tape, runarounds, and rigamarole that one would expect from an agency who operates with only so much funding and so many hours in the day.

As Larissa is placed in temporary foster care, Alice realizes that she wants to become a foster parent herself, to take care of Larissa if and until her mother can get her back. The journey that follows is an emotional one--Larissa is resentful, hurt, and angry, as only a child can be; Alice is apalled to realize how hidden she has made herself from the world, and how prejudiced she appears to be; Michelle, Larissa's mother, is alternately sorry for her brief abandonment and intolerable of criticism.

THE SOUND OF US is a rich novel on so many levels. Alice is already dealing with the loss of her twin brother the previous year, and the fact that her parents are getting older. She realizes that although she loves her job, being an interpreter for the deaf, she can't rely on it to be the sole basis for a fulfilling life.

Kudos to Ms. Willis for such an emotionally moving book. This is the first book I've read by her, but I've now added all of her previous releases to my reading list. You won't be disappointed by picking up a copy of this magnificent story.
reviewed The Sound of Us on + 56 more book reviews
I thought that this book was wonderfully written. I felt my emotions come out in this book when things would happen.

Some parts were hard for me, only because we are currently in the adoption process, and have been on the waiting list FOREVER. It was hard to read about how fast some of these things happened in the book. As with any book, understanding that there is some freedoms taken with the writing, makes you a lot less critical.

It was a great book, just a bit too much of a subject that I knew too much on a personal note, to be carefree about it.