What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor ~Goodreads~
Published by Little, Brown Book Group UK 2015
Paperback edition 400 pages ~Book Depository~
A BIG story about a small boy who sees the world a little differently.
Milo curled his thumb and forefinger together to make a small hole and held his fingers up to Al’s eyes. ‘Look through here. That’s what I see. Kind of, only worse.’
‘Wow, that must be amazing.’
Milo shrugged. ‘Not really.’
‘I mean, it makes you focus, doesn’t it? I bet you see all kinds of stuff that other people miss.’
Nine-year-old Milo Moon has retinitis pigmentosa: his eyes are slowly failing and he will eventually go blind. But for now he sees the world through a pin hole and notices things other people don’t. When Milo’s beloved gran succumbs to dementia and moves into a nursing home, Milo soon realises there’s something wrong at the home. So with just Tripi, the nursing home’s cook, and Hamlet, his pet pig, to help, Milo sets out on a mission to expose the nursing home and the sinister Nurse Thornhill.
The plot focusses on a broken family, Milo and his mother Sandy, great-grandmother Lou and a few others such as Tripi the cook at the nursing home all of which have their individual stories to tell, and their own personal tragedies. Amongst this, Milo tries to understand what is happening around him and attempts to look at the world without really knowing who to trust and how to manage his condition.
The narration is very black and white because of it being from a child’s perspective and yet his thoughts aren’t quite definite. Some were a little cliche such as the bad absent Dad that left his family for a younger wife, and the nursing home being a horrible place to be. However, these perceptions did echo the theme of Milo’s physical vision that reveal details that others didn’t want to notice- I thought this was done very effectively.
To my surprise Milo’s condition didn’t really play that much of a role as I originally thought it would within the plot. His story was more of a 9 year-old child experiencing his parents divorce and his grandma being taken away and having difficulty in school because of this, which is believable and does happen but it was “different” shall we say as such. However, despite this it is a feel-good book with a mostly happy ending and all the loose ends in the characters lives coming together in the end. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes to read a “hope at the end of the tunnel” kind of book because this is definitely that despite some sad themes. It was just a lot different than I had originally hoped for.