A New Novel about Deafness
Imagine that you are deaf. You’ve done that. We’ve all done it. What would it be like not to be able to hear sounds anymore? It would be difficult, certainly. You’d have to learn sign language. You’d need to become good at lip-reading. You wouldn’t be able to talk on the phone. You’d need closed captioning on your television. The more you think about it, the more complicated life becomes. You couldn’t hear a clerk at the store who asked you if you needed help with anything. You couldn’t hear a car horn blaring at you to get out of the way to avoid danger in traffic. You couldn’t hear…well, anything.
Now imagine you were born that way. All of the things you have learned in your life that sound has helped you to discover would be things you would have to learn in a new way. Faith’s Journey, the newest novel by Royal Fireworks Press, tells the story of what that process of discovery is like. Faith is born deaf, and she spends her infancy and early childhood struggling to understand what often comes naturally to a hearing child. It is not an easy journey, but she has incredible support from her family, who embark on their own journey of advocacy and assistance alongside her.
But then the unthinkable happens. Faith is diagnosed with leukemia. It is a devastating diagnosis. And when you’re deaf, and lip-reading and sign language are your communication tools, ending up in a hospital where everyone wears face masks, and going through treatments that make your hands hurt, are both frustrating and terrifying.
Faith’s Journey is one of repeated challenges, every one of which Faith rises to meet, buttressed by her family in ways that are both completely expected of loving parents and siblings and also unexpected in the strength that surges beneath them. It is a revealing tale of struggle and unity and gratitude.