Title: The Quality of Silence
Author: Rosamund Lupton
Original Publication: July 2015 (Hardback) / December 2015 (Paperback)
Publisher: Little Brown
Opening line: “My name is a shape, not a sound.”
Closing line: “I can feel my fingers again and I have a voice.”
I asked for ‘The Quality of Silence’ as a present for Christmas without really knowing exactly what the book was about. Rosamund Lupton’s previous two novels, ‘Sister’ and ‘Afterwards’ were absolutely fantastic so I was certain that her third novel would not disappoint. And I wasn’t wrong.
‘The Quality of Silence’ was a chilling and engaging read, continually revving up the pace as the pages flipped over. The book is set against the brutal backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness and sees a mother and her deaf daughter making a solo search for their missing husband/father. We see a number of twists and turns over the course of the novel as their search seems increasingly fruitless and dangerous.
Lupton is able to get inside the characters heads perfectly and we see the dual perspective of both Yasmin and her daughter Ruby. Lupton develops a fascinating mother-daughter dynamic that is really engaging to read and explore. We also see fracking and environmental issues playing an important role as the book progresses. Lupton’s research was clearly thorough and she is able to create a realistically chilling scenario.
What I enjoyed the most about the novel was the fact that you couldn’t put it down. As with her previous two novels, as I neared the end of the book I just couldn’t stop myself reading. I couldn’t not know what was going to happen next and I was hooked onto her quickly unravelling thread. I find this quality makes for a riveting read and encourages you to read on because you really want to know what’s going to happen. I had suspicions about what was going to happen, but my thoughts changed every few chapters and Lupton leads us towards a satisfying conclusion.
I would highly recommend this novel because of its engaging plot, interesting characters and incredibly adept pacing. It is a perfect read for any fans of mystery/thriller novels and the icy setting seems unsettling real as you read the novel. It was an enjoyable read, that I was able to get through fairly quickly as I just couldn’t put it down – an essential quality in any good book!
Some Questions To Think About After Reading The Book:
- Were you able to guess what was going to happen?
- Did Ruby’s condition make you sympathise more with her?
- Was Yasmin right to act the way that she did?
- Did you think the novel was politicised in any way?
- What, if anything, did you find unsettling about the novel?
P.S. My music pick for this post is Jennifer Hudson’s version of “And I’m Telling You, I’m Not Going” from the movie Dreamgirls. Enjoy 🙂