This powerful novel in verse describes what happens when abuse and silence go hand-in-hand. Anke, a freshman in high school, lives in a house of terror. While she is ignored, her father beats her brother and sexually abuses her sister. Feeling unloved, invisible and unworthy of any type of attention, Anke sinks into silence until she decides to play volleyball against her father’s wishes. Finding strength and courage she did not know she had, Anke saves her friend from rape, punishes her father and ultimately saves her family.
Through the use of poetry, Thalia Chaltas has crafted a chilling and compelling story of violence and neglect. Her lyrical, remarkably descriptive text makes the reader thoroughly understand the torment that Anke lives through on a daily basis. Because the work is in poems, the book reads rather quickly, but the subject matter is certainly for a more mature audience. The ending makes the reader want to cheer and while more healing is needed for this damaged family, the reader is hopeful that they will all be fine. This novel would be an excellent addition to high school and public libraries and also a good choice for a teen book discussion group or a class project.