Sound: a story of hearing lost and found
Reviewed by Sylvia Irvine-Robertson
Bella Bathurst is a writer and photojournalist whose personal experience of hearing loss, combined with biographical and historical accounts, forms the bedrock of Sound.
I had no preconceptions about this book, but from the first page, I was gripped by her account of a sailing trip she undertook in the early days of her diminishing hearing. I could totally identify with her rationale for doing so and her descriptive powers are such that the reader is drawn inextricably into that yacht.
Anyone who has suffered hearing loss, whether slowly or suddenly will identify with all the thought processes Bella undergoes and shares. I was particularly interested in her comparison of dealing with deafness from the standpoint of the deaf community and those outside of that.
Bella’s journey to take her life back in control was a painful and lengthy one. As a young woman faced with life changing challenges, she dealt with it without support. This highlights the huge benefit of Hearing Link in enabling people to come to terms with their loss and move forward.
This is not just a book about Bella, however. It covers a broad range of factors and situations leading to hearing loss and her research is fascinating.
On the subject of loud music affecting musicians, she raises some interesting points. To this end, she interviews George Martin’s son Giles and his account of his father’s deafness is revelatory.
The impact of war and working in environments detrimental to hearing are addressed in an engaging manner, whilst providing the reader with an insight not publicised.
Bella has the ability to analyse and inform and does so often with a sense of humour. There was one passage on meeting up socially which had me laughing out loud, it was so accurate and relevant to all of us with hearing loss dealing with the day to day.
You may well be asking yourself the significance of the title ‘lost and found’ and all I can say is, read it, and find out!
My verdict? Don’t miss!