Filippo, Me and the Cherry Tree

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Book Review, Fiction, Translation

Filippo, Me and The Cherry Tree

Book Details

Filippo, Me and the Cherry Tree
Paola Peretti, transl. Denise Muir, London: Hot Key Books, pb, 978 1 47141 105 2, 2022, £7.99, 144pp.
Fiction, 9+ years

This is a sequel to Peretti’s acclaimed The Distance between Me and the Cherry Tree. It takes place three years after the first volume when Mafalda is nearly thirteen.

Her sight, we discover, has deteriorated further and she can only see the colour red and shadows. She has, however, made a new friend, Filippo. He is in the year above and she feels she can be herself with him despite the limitations her impairment places on her. She calls him her best friend and he sometimes calls her beautiful.

What makes this book stand out are the mundane details of life with sight loss which sighted people would not even notice: how someone smells and the problem of furniture being out of its usual place. There are also references to using dictation and needing an LSA at school during the pre-teen years. As someone who has experienced both these things, Mafalda’s feelings towards them seem accurate.

Exceptionally, the book discusses the feelings a young girl has when first confronted with her period. This is refreshing and useful. The relationships Mafalda has with adults beyond her family are warm and reassuring. I really enjoyed her relationship with Mr Rossi, her upstairs neighbour, and so will any Dickens fan.


Review by Rebecca Butler