What Milo Saw is a debut novel by local author Virginia Macgregor that shows us how it takes a small boy who is going blind to see what is really going on in the world.
What Milo Saw is a story about contemporary British life; a single mum struggling to bring up a nine year old boy with retinitis pigmentosa and look after 93 year old Gran who is developing dementia.
This is obviously all too much, something has to give and Gran ends up in a nursing home.
What Milo Saw is told from several different points of view and is all the more thought provoking for that. This is no grim read but a gentle, humorous and touching novel as young Milo sets about ensuring Gran is home for Christmas.
The novel took four months to write the first draft and Virginia worked on her novel in a coffee shop.
The busy café was a creative place for her, “it’s funny but the people around you become white noise, you can get your head down and let them burble in the background.” she said. “It creates an atmosphere that allows you to concentrate.
“With the way I write, I observe the world, I spot amusing and touching situations, listen to the news and sort of ‘magpie’ it all together to make a story.”
Although What Milo Saw was only published on July 31 it has already been translated and sold to nine countries including China. It has also been made into an unabridged audio book, released on the same day.
“The way the audio book came about was very special,” said Virginia. “The RNIB got interested in it because of the little boy’s eye condition. They contacted my publisher and said they wanted to make an audio book for everyone to enjoy but especially for those that can’t read.”
What Milo Saw is the perfect summer read. The language is clean and direct, the chapters are short and the changing view point keeps the reader engaged. Although the hard copy is a bit chunky it is also available in paperback, on Kindle and as an audio book.