Review : Because I am Furniture
What it’s about :
Anke only wishes she could, once in her life, be seen and heard. Praying on the weak, her father is abusive to everyone in her family ; her mother, her brother, her sister. Everyone, but her. She’s invisible to her father, nothing worth getting happy or angry about. While her family is busy pretending nothing is wrong, Anke will do what she can to be more than furniture – and maybe, in the process, save her family.
My Thoughts :
I’ve never been really fond of books written in verses, as my previous experiences with this type of books has left me particularly disappointed. Because I am Furniture appealed to me more for its subject than for its style, but in the end, I found Chaltas’ writing perfect for the story.
Anke’s story is a dark, depressing story better left for days when you don’t need to be cheered up. Her father’s abuse is constant, scary, unpredictable, and it seems she’s to only one in her familly willing to acknowledge that something is really wrong. And yet, her feelings are complex : because her father has never been anything but violent, she associates his behavior with attention, and wonders why doesn’t he pay more attention to her? Why is she nothing more than furniture in his eyes?
He knocked Darren onto the linoleum.
I don’t remember his arm swing,
Just Darren and his chair –
eight tangled limbs on the floor.
No reason that I could see.
But my father picked up his reasons and his plate and went
in the living room.
Darren picked up his chair and himself and we are now eating
in customary ice-age silence.
Chaltas uses very few words to describe Anke’s journey and I found that it was just fine this way. There wasn’t more needed, really. Everything was there : Anke’s envy, anger, sadness. But it’s also a story about confidence and strength. Past her jealousy for the attention she wants to receive, Anke also sees that something is wrong with her family. Between school, friends, volleyball practice and life at home, she builds herself up and gains a confidence like no one else in her family has yet.
Some reads aren’t easy and Because I am Furniture was definitely part of that category, but I appreciated Chaltas’ writing and how close to the emotions she came with so few words. I would happily read more from her, and this book has even reconciled me with the idea of novels written in verse.