Thalia Chaltas’ Because I Am Furniture is a unique and deeply affecting exploration of the effects of abuse on protagonist Anke, whose father regularly attacks her siblings but has always left her alone. Written in verse, this breathtaking audiobook follows Anke on a quest to discover her own voice, and her dream that, in doing so, she might save the people she loves - and somehow overcome the evil which lives in her own home.
Audra Pagano’s sweet, tremulous voice draws out the contrary aspects of Anke’s character, emphasizing her own perceived fragility alongside her growing strength. Pagano’s performance is deft, nuanced, utterly entrancing - and above all, not to be missed.
Anke’s father is abusive. But not to her. He attacks her brother and sister, but she’s just an invisible witness in a house of horrors, on the brink of disappearing altogether. Until she makes the volleyball team at school. At first just being exhausted after practice feels good, but as Anke becomes part of the team, her confidence builds. When she learns to yell “Mine!” to call a ball, she finds a voice she didn’t know existed. For the first time, Anke is seen and heard. Soon, she’s imagining a day that her voice will be loud enough to rescue everyone at home - including herself.
The story was far too descriptive. It was like having descriptive audio on a movie, but to the unnecessary and extreme. It distracted me from what was actually going on. Making that worse was the metaphors coming every second sentence. I had no idea what was going on until the last chapter where some semblance of a proper story emerged.
So much time was spent describing useless stuff that the characters were lost to me. I did not care for the characters or what happened to them, since they were never the focus. Random words and similes were thrown in all over the place seeming to try and build word count.
Narration was acceptable at best; sounded like a female William Shatner. Did well for secondary characters, but they were few and far between on dialogue.
This may have been a story of overcoming abuse, but I couldn't find it in there. What I got was a boring, unnecessary mess of descriptive speaking and metaphors which hid the story from view. Largely disappointed, not worth reading even if it was free.