Book review: The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

2 Jul

9780349408125 (1)On 24th November Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrive in Alaska.

Within hours they are driving alone across a frozen wilderness

Where nothing grows

Where no one lives

Where tears freeze

And night will last for another fifty-four days.

They are looking for Ruby’s father.

Travelling deeper into a silent land.

They still cannot find him.

And someone is watching them in the dark.

There’s a certain irony to reviewing a book set in the frozen wilds of Alaska whilst enduring a heatwave here in England but despite the scorching temperatures here in London at the moment this book certainly made me shiver! The Quality of Silence is a tense thriller, a gripping family drama and a poignant story of a two parents and their deaf daughter.

It is a story that grabbed hold of me and wouldn’t let go making me race through the pages to get to the final outcome, but at the same time, The Quality of Silence is a beautiful novel that explores our relationship with our senses and how we as humans cope when pushed to our limits.

Without a doubt, my favourite character in the novel was Ruby; the ten year old daughter of Yasmin and Matt. Ruby is deaf and her deafness is a key part of the story as she embarks on a dangerous journey with her mother into the frozen, dark, wilds of Alaska to search for the man that they love. Ruby’s ‘voice’ was just wonderful and the parts of the book that she narrates really stood out for me. This is as much a story of a mother coming to understand her daughter as it is a dramatic thriller and I really enjoyed the balance of the two aspects.

The brutal Alaskan setting is as much a part of the story as the characters and events and I loved the way that Lupton showed the cruelty of the landscape and elements aside their beauty. The journey that Yasmin and Ruby take is an immense physical challenge but it also poses a huge mental challenge for Yasmin in particular and I loved the way that this was used to reflect Ruby’s ‘silent’ world and to get me as a reader to begin to understand the complexities of Ruby and Yasmin’s mother-daughter relationship.

Rosamund Lupton creates a brilliant tension from the beginning as Yasmin is greeted by a stranger at the airport and instead of the confrontation she had planned with her husband, she is faced with a completely different and horrifying situation. The twists and turns that the story took continued to surprise me and the drama and danger give the book excellent pace with the threats faced by Ruby and Yasmin keeping the tension high – my heart was often in my mouth as I read!

5/5

The Quality of Silence is released today in hardback and ebook formats.

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Find out more about Rosamund Lupton and her novels at: http://www.rosamundlupton.com/

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