read online Mouthing the WordsAuthor Camilla Gibb –

By turns harrowing and hilarious, this adroitly narrated winner of the Toronto Book Award recreates the world in the imagination of Thelma It's a world in which she can escape some of her painful childhood realities, like those games her father likes to make her play, where he's the boss and she the naughty secretary And her mother so fiercely favors her younger brother, the cherubic Willy, that Thelma finds herself perpetually in emotional exile No wonder Thelma asks practically every adult she meets to adopt her Along Thelma's bumpy way from a rural English village to Canada to a law degree at Oxford, she meets many potential parents and even makes some friends, but it is with the companions of her fertile imagination—with the scaredybaby Janawee, moody and timid Ginniger, and big, strong, stoic Heroin—that Thelma finds comfort With them, too, she loses an already tenuous connection to reality, though ultimately Thelma's spirit and humor prove to be as indomitable as her wit Moving and comic at once Hallucinatory, hilarious, and haunting—Boston Globe Prickly, unsentimentala portrait of terrible comic humanity—New York Times Book Review Mesmerizing Lush, visceral proserings with an authority rarely found in first novels—Washington Post Book World A novel of astonishing powerAn instantaneous classic—Balti Sun Elegantsings with an almost Victorian delicacy and sophistication—San Francisco Chronicle Mouthing the Words

About the Author: Camilla Gibb

From the author's web site:Camilla Gibb, born in 1968, is the author of three novels, Mouthing the Words, The Petty Details of So and so's Life and Sweetness in the Belly, as well as numerous short stories, articles and reviews She was the winner of the Trillium Book Award in 2006, a Scotiabank Giller Prize short list nominee in 2005, winner of the City of Toronto Book Award in 2000 and the reci

10 thoughts on “Mouthing the Words

  1. Melinda Melinda says:

    From the look of this book, I was expecting casual young adult fiction, but it was neither a casual story nor YA lit. Relatively short, at only 238 pages, the novel was intense, serious with subtle touches of humor, and beautifully written. Gibb covers some intense subject matter, such as the sexual abuse and mental illness of the protagonist, and handles it adeptly — the protagonist’s emotional state is convincingly bleak,

  2. Claire Arnold Claire Arnold says:

    Sharp, witty & darkly humourous, this book is a fantastic read. I read it in a day & found the characters easy to relate to. The imagery is extremely realistic without being overpowering & is exceptionally delicate.

  3. Andy Quan Andy Quan says:

    Funny. I've had a couple of books that are taking me ages to read. But I found a copy of Camilla Gibb's Mouthing the Words in a crazy op shop on Redfern Street (for one dollar...), was intrigued and finished it in two days. Published in 2002, at a time when I was paying attention to new voices in Canadian fiction, I remember hearing good things about the book... so have been meaning to read it now for over a decade.

    I enjo

  4. Cassidy Cassidy says:

    It took me a chapter or two to fully entangle myself in this book (more because of my personal head space than anything else, I think) but once I was in, I was in. Simultaneously tender and brutal, Mouthing the Words is perhaps one of the most resonant survivor journeys I have ever seen represented in the written form.

    I particularly appreciated the fragmented and darkly chaotic passages describing Thelma's experiences with he

  5. Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies says:

    This was such a unique story, probably because the main character used imaginary friends and voices and retreated into her imagination for the bulk of her life because she was terribly abused both sexually and emotionally. I couldn't quite believe it was a YA book but no matter the audience it was a story that was both tragic and hopeful.
    Thelma is the protagonist and narrator and we totally get in her head as to how she sees things,

  6. Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page) Stephanie (Stepping Out Of The Page) says:

    This book was excellent. It was original, intriguing and interesting, dealing with several difficult subjects without becoming too 'heavy' or feeling too tragic. This book isn't your average 'tragic life story' - it's more. It's easy to get lost inside Thelma's rather complex mind, explore her mental state and the thoughts that this brings her. It's not boring and although you may look back and think some of the things in the book are almost u

  7. James Campbell James Campbell says:

    One of the few books that made me feel it in my gut. Haven't read it in a long while and really want to go back to it one day.

  8. Melanie Melanie says:

    I don’t find this book hilarious in anyway, but oh how fantastic it is, dark and absolutely mad but in a way where you can feel it. I love it.
    I wanna be an icicle!

  9. Lucie Jones Lucie Jones says:

    Quick review: This book is certainly harrowing, but rarely hilarious. It mentioned hilarity in both the summary here on Goodreads, and on the cover of the book itself- I disagree. It is clever, sharp, quick, but the content is as gloomy as you'll find.
    This book, what to say about this book! I've only refrained from giving it a 5 star rating as I found it so miserable, so #triggering in it's biting portrayal of sexual abuse, anorexia, and borderli

  10. Steven Langdon Steven Langdon says:

    Camilla Gibb is a favourite author of mine, whose books (such as Sweetness in the Belly) have been powerful and beautifully written.

    This novel, Mouthing the Words, Gibbs's first published book, shows much of the promise that these later works achieve. Thelma is a striking and strong female character, and her life is fraught with sexual abuse and mental instability. Her struggles to move through these experiences and find a secure harbour kept

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