Somebody Loves You by Mona Arshi

Mona Arshi weaves a tapestry from a series of familial vignettes in new book Somebody Loves You

Book Review by Heather McDaid | 26 Nov 2021
  • Somebody Loves You
Book title: Somebody Loves You
Author: Mona Arshi

Silence can be powerful. At a young age, Ruby gives up talking, finding the quiet a shelter from her mother’s mental illness, and the pressures of her life. In Somebody Loves You, words hold power, in that – much like the character – Mona Arshi uses them sparingly and with deft precision. A small book told in bite-sized vignettes, most snapshots a page or two in length, it’s a tapestry of life that weaves together bit by bit.

Sisterly comparisons of innie and outie belly buttons and their predisposition to balance eggs, or dream journaling, or eating bluebells as a child – each small anecdote is simple in isolation, but as the book unfolds the story lives within its spaces. The construction of agony as an a-word, through traversing life and death. Words are not to be wasted; each feels carefully chosen and placed, tiny fragments of memory, wit, love, growth, life.

Those looking for a linear narrative might not find it in these pages, but amid these disjointed anecdotes spanning years of life in a handful of pages lies a tale that will sit with readers long after its final page.

And Other Stories, out now, £11.99