What Milo Saw
What Milo Saw is an intelligent and funny new novel by Virginia McGregor. Milo is nine and coping with retinis pigmentosa. He is slowly going blind and is only able to see the world through a tiny pinhole of vision. While it is terrifying to lose his sight, Milo is keenly observant and notices things that others overlook.
When his Gran is put into the Forget-Me-Not nursing home, Milo sees through the charade of the place to notice that the people there are unhappy and Nurse Thornhill is a tyrant who is mistreating the elderly residents. Milo goes undercover to expose Nurse Thornhill and get his Gran home in time for Christmas. All of this with the help of his pet pig, Hamlet, the nursing home chef, Trippi, and Clouds, his journalist cousin.
While What Milo Saw is not over the top, with writing and plot that is quite simple, its understated elegance makes the book worthwhile. Milo is a young kid and he still views the world as such – he doesn’t see the big picture all the time and often doesn’t understand the complexity of situations. But slowly he begins to understand the moral grey space that adults behave in. It’s not always perfectly conveyed in the book but there are many emotional and social messages that will resonate with readers.
Different chapters are told from different points of view, which helps to round out the novel. Milo is a little fixated on exposing the evil nursing home and being angry with his Mum, so having extra characters helps to balance the narrative and explain the motivations and depths of the characters. I enjoyed this sweet and poignant debut novel!
What Milo Saw is in stores and online now.