“Mafalda is a nine-year-old girl who knows one thing: some time in the next six months her sight will fail completely.
“Can Mafalda find a way through a seemingly dark future and still go to school, play football and look after her beloved cat? With the help of her family, and her friends, Mafalda needs to discover the things that will be important to her when her sight has failed.”
“To live in fear is not to live at all.”
Based around Mafalda’s love of the cherry tree and what it symbolises for her, each section of The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree shows her declining eyesight and how close she needs to be to see her beloved tree. I felt for her from the very beginning.
The story goes from detailing what we lose when we our sight disappears to what we can still do without it. Mafalda discovers she can still have friends and enjoy the things she loves and although the darkness is scary, if you have the right people by your side, you can find hope.
Based on the real life experiences of the author Paola Peretti, who is affected by the rare genetic illness known as Stargadt Disease, I devoured this story in a few days. The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree is an adorable and heartbreaking quick read that will stay with you after the last pages have been turned.