When no one listens, what’s the point of talking? Kyle McGinley doesn’t say a word. Fed up with being shuttled from one foster care home to another, he has stopped speaking. But at the home of Scott and Jill Wardman, with the help of a crow, and a swamp, and an excess of blank paint, he begins to think that maybe, just maybe, life could be better.
As long as his frigging dad doesn’t mess things up.
For a book whose main character refuses to speak, The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley is told entirely through dialogue – both internal and external. The reader is privy to Kyle’s innermost thoughts, desires and fears, immediately painting him as a sympathetic character.
The reader is also introduced to two characters who reside almost entirely within Kyle’s head: his father, who offers up cruel and disparaging comments at every turn, and the Lord of Ingenuity, a calm, analytical figure created to provide Kyle with a sense of belonging. These characters emphasize the emotional turmoil that Kyle endures on a daily basis, and are instrumental in the growth that he undergoes throughout the novel.
Scott and Jill, Kyle’s new foster parents, are incredibly easy to like. They’re outgoing, fun, environmentally-conscious individuals who intuitively understand Kyle’s needs. They truly appreciate and want him, and are the exact opposite of Kyle’s father.
And then there’s Lady C, an injured crow that Kyle tends to. Lady C’s health mirrors Kyle’s emotional state: afraid, hurt, and abandoned. As Lady C is nursed back to health, Kyle also begins to heal. By the end of the book, his journey is not complete, but the reader is left with a feeling of hope and the knowledge that he is in good hands.
I received an ARC of this book from the author through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.