Book Review: The Quality of Silence

The Quality of Silence 1

The Quality of Silence 3

Plot: With her marriage under threat, Yasmin flies her deaf ten-year-old daughter out to Alaska in the hopes of finding her husband. After a tragic accident, only Yasmin’s determination prevents her from believing that Matt is dead.

To reach him, Yasmin ends up in a tanker driving north, driving into the cold, the snow and the incoming storm, with Ruby. They are not alone; a sinister truck is following and threatening them and danger looms ahead when unnerving pictures are sent through email. With Ruby at risk, Yasmin must decide whether to carry on or turn back and lose Matt.

 

The Quality of Silence 2

Quote: `But Yasmin wasn’t going to stop asking her. Her determination that Ruby would speak, that one day her daughter would be heard, was undiminished,`

 

Opinion: I saw this book in WHSmith’s window, thought I would give it a go and ordered it from the library. I didn’t know what I was expecting or what sort of plot I was letting myself in for. All in all, I enjoyed this story and realise on reflection how much I did enjoy it; looking back you can see the character development and how tense parts were, something that I missed when reading initially.

This book felt to me as if the author had points she wanted to get across and focused her story around that, especially around issues of oil fracking. There was also the healing relationship between mother and daughter – there was certainly nothing subtle about Yasmin realising she needed to stop pushing Ruby to talk. It was almost cliché. The final confrontation read like a rant against fracking and the dangers of it, presenting the author’s views a little too clearly to read as the characters’. It felt a view was forced when the story would have done that for itself.

The book is an easy read, despite the growing tension in the second half. I shot through it, and most of the time kept expecting for something more to happen than ever did. I thought it got stronger as it went along. Ruby’s parts undermined the growing tension by the occasional insert of childish language that didn’t fit – it could have been a lot stronger without those words in it.

Ruby’s character didn’t quite work for me. I thought she was good, but at an age closer to thirteen than ten. For the most part, her characterisation was spot on, but there were times where I felt as if she was just too young to either be doing that sort of thing or thinking that way. Of course, I might be totally wrong (what do I know about ten-year-old’s?) but it still worked to detract me from the story.

Overall, this is an enjoyable book. If you’re after a light read that has just enough tension and danger to keep it going, then this is the one for you. If you want a real page-turner that will make you fall off your seat, I would look somewhere else though.

Amazon | Waterstones

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