The title is taken from a schoolgirl levitation ritual, practised by the mother of narrator Hannah. As a result of Meningitis at the age of six, Hannah nearly dies leading her parents to become obsessively over-protective. Her parents gradually dispose of all methods of modern communication and take Hannah out of school until one day, tortured by the evils of the world, her father ‘disappears’ during the Lord’s Prayer one mealtime. Hannah’s mother continues the self-imposed isolation. Confined in the house, Hannah’s only contact with the world is either through the window or through her mother’s past.
She Looks Pale is about a little girl who was very ill with Meningitis, which in turn triggered her parents’ obsession to keep her safe from the modern world.
Initially it was the removal of electrical technology, such as phones and the computer, but the story becomes more and more claustrophobic as that poor little girl’s life shrinks around her, the more her parents try to limit her access to the outside world. As a reader, it makes you question the extremes parents will go to in order to keep their children safe, and at which stage help becomes harm.
Despite being short, this sad story still managed to trigger strong emotions within me, a feeling of anxiety and a sensation of becoming more and more trapped and withdrawn.
On a positive note, I like rainbow days too, and smiled at the pink cardigan and lime dress with black spots. It was usually my mum who took me clothes shopping, but for some reason when I was no more than ten years old, my dad had to take me shopping to choose an outfit for a party. I remember us going to York market and we chose the most amazing neon bright skirt and shirt with huge bright polka dots on. I think my mum was somewhat shocked, but Dad and I loved it.
This only took me about an hour to read, so great if you just want a quick read.
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3 thoughts on “#BookReview (4 stars) – She Looks Pale, by Kate Rigby #ShortStory #Fiction”
So many thanks for taking the trouble to read and review, Jules 🙂
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You’re very welcome, Kate 🙂
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