Saturday, 15 June 2013
During the summer of her GCSEs Kite's world falls apart. Her best friend, Dawn, commits suicide after a long struggle with feeling under pressure to achieve. Kite's dad takes her to the Lake District, to give her time and space to grieve. In London Kite is a confident girl, at home in the noisy, bustling city, but in the countryside she feels vulnerable and disorientated. Kite senses Dawn's spirit around her and is consumed by powerful, confusing emotions - anger, guilt, sadness and frustration, all of which are locked inside. It's not until she meets local boy, Garth, that Kite begins to open up - talking to a stranger is easier somehow. Kite deeply misses her friend and would do anything to speak to Dawn just once more, to understand why . . . Otherwise how can she ever say goodbye? A potent story about grief, friendship, acceptance and making your heart whole again.
Kite Spirit was an addictive story with a poignant plot. Brahmachari weaves a touching plot following Kite's plummet from a confident teenager to a withdrawn confused vulnerable girl and then the slow halting return to her original self. It was a story that I could relate to in certain aspects as will other readers. A huge part of the novel was Kite's confusion over why Dawn committed suicide, she didn't appear any different, just one day she was gone, no warning, nothing. It's similar, though more extreme, to discovering something serious your friend has been hiding and holding on to, and you can't imagine how she managed to keep it from you, and you worry why she didn't feel she could come to you. Kite Spirit helps reinforce the fact that sometimes there's nothing you can do, people have to make the decision to come to you, and sometimes people just feel they can't share that thing with anyone.
It was written in a similar easy access way to Finding Cherokee Brown and it means that it can be read by all ages which is good as issues like this need to be accessible to everyone. Suicide is a big issue that is often avoided or skirted around as it is considered immoral, wrong and shouldn't be discussed. However personally I believe that addressing issues can help people cope with these issues and help others through it. Sometimes it is the people left behind who need to be helped, thought about and given sympathy, rather than the people who have gone. Kite Spirit reminds you life keeps going even though it feels like it has ground to a shuddering stop.
I loved how Brahmachari chose to create a stranger for Kite to confide in, and help her untangle her emotions as I think it reflects the real-life need to talk to people who are removed from the bad situation as it helps people talk through their problems and helps give an honest detached opinion which can then help the person move on.
Kite Spirit receives a deserved 4 out of 5 and only did not receive higher as it was a little fluffy. It is published by PanMacMillan Children Books and can be purchased from Amazon.co.uk for £5.03.
En Bon Lu!