The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree

The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree – Paola Perretti

This is the semi autobiographical story of Mafalda, a nine year old girl who has recently found out she will soon be blind, this follows her from the moment of her diagnosis, showing the impact this has on her and her family.

Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely. Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play football and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed. 

This is a difficult one, on the one hand, it was a quick and easy read because the narrator is only nine, but on the other, reading about a small child’s hopes and fears for her future after being told she only has a few months left of sight was difficult.

Mafalda isn’t alone in her struggle and there is a wonderful cast of characters that go on this journey with her which gave a warmth to the story, and I think was the most interesting part of the story. Although I think this is a powerful book and Mafalda’s narration is very emotional at times, it didn’t quite go deep enough for me. It was hard to get through in some places, but it could have delved a little further, I think I’d have liked to have had other points of view so we could see the deeper impact on the rest of her family and her friends. Overall though, this is an enjoyable read and something you can plough through quickly.


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