Fighting Silence by Aly Martinez

On the Ropes, Book 1

Synopsis: Sound is an abstract concept for most people. We spend our lives blocking out the static in order to focus on what we believe is important. But what if, when the clarity fades into silence, it’s the obscure background noise that you would give anything to hold on to?

I’ve always been a fighter. With parents who barely managed to stay out of jail and two little brothers who narrowly avoided foster care, I became skilled at dodging the punches life threw at me. Growing up, I didn’t have anything I could call my own, but from the moment I met Eliza Reynolds, she was always mine. I became utterly addicted to her and the escape from reality we provided each other. Throughout the years, she had boyfriends and I had girlfriends, but there wasn’t a single night that I didn’t hear her voice.

You see, meeting the love of my life at age thirteen was never part of my plan. However, neither was gradually going deaf at the age of twenty-one.

They both happened anyway.

Now, I’m on the ropes during the toughest battles of my life.
Fighting for my career.
Fighting the impending silence.
Fighting for her.

Every night, just before falling asleep, she sighs as a final conscious breath leaves her.

I think that’s the sound I’ll miss the most.

Review: This is the first novel by Aly Martinez that I read, but I must say that the themes were very intriguing: boxing, deafness, a difficult family life… Yes, I was very curious to see what the author was going to propose.

This novel presents the evolution of two characters: Eliza and Till from their 13 years old to their entry into adulthood. Eliza always wanted to be somebody, while Till had to take care of his brothers because of their absent parents. It’s far from easy, but he’s doing his best. Yet the day he discovered boxing, his life changed. He finally finds a goal and above all a way to earn some money. But Till also has difficulty in anchoring himself in reality and even worse, he has difficulty in managing the disease which causes him a partial deafness of which he doesn’t know the evolution.

I had a good time with the novel even if it wasn’t quite what I expected. Sometimes I wanted to shake the characters up, but I was also curious to see the choices they were going to make. And I also loved discovering Till’s brothers that we will see again in the following volumes. I had a little trouble at times with the French translation, but that’s just a detail, so if you’re interested, it was a pretty nice book.

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