Tuesday, January 1, 2013

David Sullivan - The Sound of Your Voice

The Sound of Your Voice is a gentle romance, following the developing love between John and his deaf lover Steve as they adjust to living in two very different worlds. Sentenced to community service for being arrested at a rally, John begins working at a relay service for the hearing impaired. Through his new work he meets Steve, a deaf man, who helps him understand that love comes in all shapes and sizes. Steve and John face disapproving families, clashing lifestyles, and discrimination, but they eventually find a place that gives them the peace they need to learn how to love each other, and to discover that sometimes the sweetest voice is the one you can't hear.

Comment: I've decided to pick this book as one of the m/m I'd read this month. I've had it for a very long time and to be honest I forgot all about it. Shame on me, yes..but it wasn't the only one, I've took a look at the pile of ebooks I've been collecting and I surprised myself over the amount...so many of them were purchased long ago, as were many printed books and they just sit there...I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about...
Anyway, it was time for this one.

This book is a romance about how a young gay man, very active in fighting for gay rights, as well as other minority's struggles gets arrested and has to do community service in a deaf school. There, he starts to learn about the deaf people's problems, battles and obstacles and slowly starts to see what they go through even in the smallest things of daily life. He also falls in love and with time he understands a deaf person is as capable as any other and sometimes even has a better life than what many think because of being deaf.

I think this was the first book I've read where one of the main character's is a deaf one. I am aware, as a citizen, how people with disabilities and physical problems have to go through so many obstacles to live their lives but I'm also ignorant of many of their victories, of many things they can actually do and achieve just because I don't have anyone deaf near me. This book opened my eyes for a lot of things, although I understand there's nothing like talking to a real person about it.
This book is a romance, of course, and some of the conflict is about the differences of how both a deaf and a hearing person see the world and how to go through their daily chores. Simple things like crossing the street or asking for a meal in a restaurant can be tricky for deaf people and we don't even think about it. The same way, the opposite happens and no one seems to realize it, if a hearing person lives within a community of deaf people who communicate by sign language, aren't those as deaf as deaf people are in the hearing world? It was an interesting dichotomy and something I've never thought about. Both main character's had to learn to cope with the other's point of view and challenges before accepting a real relationship.
Some scenes about how a deaf person has to deal with dramatic stuff, like the deaf woman who suffered domestic violence, were really eye opening, because she couldn't even scream and it strikes me as huge the difficulties people face and we take those things for granted.
I guess we can see this book as social wake up call to an issue that's current in our society but I liked how love proved to be the greatest help for the main couple in reaching happiness. 
Still, this book was very interesting, so many powerful and beautiful scenes and I'm really glad I read it. Like so many times before, this was another of those books I wonder why it took me so long to get to it. But now I read it, enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone. More than just a LGBT themed book, it's a socially themed one and it's great.

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