This week, I’m reviewing The Lip Reader by Michael Thal, which was published by Paper Angel Press on November 1. I first met Michael many years ago when we had both published books around the same time with a previous publisher. He was writing YA books at the time, and I thoroughly enjoyed his YA series featuring Koolura, a preteen with superpowers. Pretty cool.
His latest book, The Lip Reader, is a love story. The narrator is Zhila Shirazi, an Iranian-born Jewish woman, who immigrates to the United States after the Iranian Revolution. Zhila is deaf due to a childhood illness. Her ability to read lips is astonishing, as is her life story. This is a story of love, courage, compassion, an determination. I couldn’t put it down.
Here’s my review:
The Lip Reader by Michael Thal
The Lip Reader is a poignant portrayal of Zhila Shirazi, a woman who embodied the word “resilient”. She met life’s challenges with determination, navigating adversities with bravery, grace, and compassion. As a child in Iran, she contracted meningitis, which caused her to lose her hearing. Hearing aids at that time were expensive and out of reach, so, in order to survive, Zhila learned to read lips. This extraordinary skill carried Zhila through life, allowing her to navigate relationships, careers, immigration to the US after the Iranian Revolution, miscarriage and divorce, a cochlear implant, and a second chance at love.
Zhila was truly a person who gave more than she received and a beautiful example of compassion in action. Author Michael Thal has created a first-person account of Zhila’s life, giving the reader a humbling opportunity to walk with, and learn from, this amazing person.
Another highly recommended read.
The book: The Lip Reader by Michael Thal, 226 pages, published November 1, 2021 by Paper Angel Press. Available at all your favorite places.