After reading another book by Laurie Anderson, (Chains), I saw this one advertised on the back and wanted to read it too. It is young adult fiction, and it's about a young woman named Melinda who stops talking after a horrible incident toward the end of the summer of her 8th grade year. It's a book about personal injustice; it's a book about what it means to be empowered; in a way, it's a book about finding your voice, but not in a nice-nice psychological way: in a life or death way.
Melinda doesn't think she has any friends. But she does. There's a young man she admires named David Petrakis who stands up for her in a class when a teacher tries to force her to give her report (about the suffragettes) orally. But later, he tells her:
"But you got it wrong. The suffragettes were all about speaking up, screaming for their rights. You can't speak up for your right to be silent. That's letting the bad guys win. If the suffragettes did that, women would be able to vote yet...... don't expect to make a difference unless you speak up for yourself."
speak. In many contexts, still the lesson we need to learn.