What Milo Saw by Virginia Macgregor – 5*s

What Milo Saw


A BIG story about a small boy who sees the world a little differently

Milo curled his thumb and forefinger together to make a small hole and held his fingers up to Al’s eyes. ‘Look through here. That’s what I see. Kind of, only worse.’
‘Wow, that must be amazing.’
Milo shrugged. ‘Not really.’
‘I mean, it makes you focus, doesn’t it? I bet you see all kinds of stuff that other people miss.’

Nine-year-old Milo Moon has retinitis pigmentosa: his eyes are slowly failing and he will eventually go blind. But for now he sees the world through a pin hole and notices things other people don’t. When Milo’s beloved gran succumbs to dementia and moves into a nursing home, Milo soon realises there’s something wrong at the home. So with just Tripi, the nursing home’s cook, and Hamlet, his pet pig, to help, Milo sets out on a mission to expose the nursing home and the sinister Nurse Thornhill.


My Review

I originally planned on giving this 4/4.5 stars but I am so besotted with the delightful Milo Moon that I’ve decided on 5. It is a long time since I’ve been so taken with a character, but I defy anyone not to love him.

Milo is a 9 year old boy, with retinitis pigmentosa, a condition which means he sees life through a pin hole, but often spots the things that others don’t. He loves, his Mum, his Gran and his teacup pig Hamlet, and lives at home with them after his father left them for “The Tart”. Life isn’t easy since the split, but Milo is comfortable in his little world that revolves around those he loves the most. Things change after his beloved Gran is put into a care home as her dementia means his Mum just can’t cope any more.

Milo begins to see that his Gran is unhappy and failing, largely due to a complete lack of care bordering on abuse in the care home. The problem is no-one will listen so Milo makes it his goal to get things changed and make people see exactly what is going on.

Milo is such a delightful but determined little character and his relationship with his Gran is really touching and at times heartbreaking. I suspect that some people might find the book a bit twee and simplistic, but each to their own. The inclusion of adult characters such as Tripi the Syrian cook, and glimpses of the lives of the other inhabitants of the home, means that the we get different storylines and viewpoints, which help the book flow and prevent it being totally childlike.

The book introduces themes which reflect contemporary social issues such as care home abuse and the treatment and plight of refugees. But it does so in a way that blends the themes into the plot and makes you think about the humanity and the reality of the situation.

As the plot develops you find yourself hoping that Milo can succeed and despite the themes involved the book also has it’s truly comic moments and characters that lighten what could be a depressing scenario. You will need to read the book to see how things work out for Milo and his Gran, and I thoroughly recommend that you do.

I received a review copy via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Available on Amazon UK and Amazon.com


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