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The book is really beautiful and heart wrenching. But I wasn't impressed with the performance. I guess the goal was to have the story sound as if a 12 year was telling her story directly. But it felt more like hearing a 12 year old who's been asked to read a book aloud in a classroom. It really didn't feel like the narrator was the girl. The narrator seemed to have a distance from the prose that seemed at odds with the book.
This decision to use this sort of narration seemed particularly curious to me whenever there was a french passage. The narrator reads the french as if she's a grade five student in Western Canada, learning french begrudgingly and without the slightest trace of a french accent. I really didn't understand why it is that this girl, living in Montreal and experiencing lots of french people and french culture would sound the way a stand up comic sounds when they are imitating an anglo's french.
Overall, the narration really detracted from my enjoyment of a really beautiful book.
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