Kid’s Book Review: The Deep Blue Between

Kid’s Book Review: The Deep Blue Between

About the Book and Author

This historical fiction story for YA readers is as rich in its descriptions of place (Brazil and the Gold Coast of West Africa) as it is moving in its descriptions of a family bond (twin sisters separated in traumatic circumstances). It is beautifully crafted by Ayesha Harruna Attah and published by Pushkin Press.

Twin sisters Hassana and Husseina’s home is in ruins after a brutal raid, but this is just the beginning of their story, one that will take them to unfamiliar cities and cultures, where they will forge new families, ward off dangers and truly begin to know themselves.

As the twins pursue their separate paths they remain connected through shared dreams of water. But will their fates ever draw them back together?

 

The Deep Blue Between cover
Ayesha Harruna Attah author

Ayesha Harruna Attah is a Ghanaian-born writer living in Senegal. She was educated at Mount Holyoke College, Columbia University and New York University. She is the author of the Commonwealth Writers Prize-nominated Harmattan Rain, Saturdays Shadows and The Hundred Wells of Salaga, currently translated into four languages. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Elle Italia, Asymptote and the 2010 Caine Prize Writers’ Anthology. This is her first book for teen readers; find out more about her other books on her website.

Book Review

I liked how the twins were connected through their dreams

The deep blue between is a novel about twin sisters separated by a raid on their village, consequently causing them to lose each other. As they live on separately, their paths seemingly get farther away…but maybe they are closer to each other than they think, through the powerful connection in their minds, that may, one day, lead them towards one another once again.

I really enjoyed reading this novel as I found it very informative and educational, especially as you get to think how people of colour were treated badly and made slaves. I found I learnt a lot from reading it and it was very interesting to see it from a person’s own point of view. I also liked how the twins were connected through their dreams, though their own beliefs and lifestyles differed and they were very far apart.

I like the structure of the book in that each chapter switches to the other sister’s point of view, so you can see how they are both getting on at similar times in their lives. I think it gives the book a bit more depth and makes it much more interesting to read, instead of just following one of the twins and not knowing anything about the other one.

My only criticism would be that there was never a follow up to the twin’s older sister Aminah who we hear about near the beginning of Hassana’s first chapter, and she is continually mentioned throughout the book but never seen again. As a reader I definitely would have welcomed some closure for this character but, I respect the author taking a more realistic approach, suggesting that we wouldn’t know what happened to her or where she went.

Ultimately, I would recommend giving this book a read, as it is a very absorbing and an insightful story; quite thought-provoking too.

 

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Reviewer Profile

Young Reviewer Millie
  • Name: Millie
  • Age: 15 years
  • Likes: Dog-walking, English and cooking
  • Dislikes: Physics and getting out of bed!
  • Favourite Book: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  • Favourite Film: Brooklyn
  • Favourite Song: Lovely by Billie Eilish