The Quality of Silence: A Novel

"I'll risk my life for you." "Will you?"

Title:  Quality of Silence
Author:  Rosamund Lupton
Publisher:  Crown Publishers
Release Date:   February 16, 2016


The gripping, moving story of a mother and daughter's quest to uncover a dark secret in the Alaskan wilderness, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sister and Afterwards

Thrillingly suspenseful and atmospheric, The Quality of Silence is the story of Yasmin, a beautiful astrophysicist, and her precocious deaf daughter, Ruby, who arrive in a remote part of Alaska to be told that Ruby's father, Matt, has been the victim of a catastrophic accident. Unable to accept his death as truth, Yasmin and Ruby set out into the hostile winter of the Alaskan tundra in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realizes that a very human danger may be keeping pace with them. And with no one else on the road to help, they must keep moving, alone and terrified, through an endless Alaskan night.

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UK Edition
The above words are the start of the novel. Interesting. Yes, it got me through the first page, and then some more, but there is a "but." The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton have some quality moments, especially the aptly named title and premise of the story.  The silence refers not only Ruby's deafness, literally, but also the quiet of the Alaskan winter wilderness, and what I assume is the lack of communication between the characters - husband and wife and parents and child.  The premise of the story presents the very attributes of a thriller - how silence can be unnerving and the unknown terrifying, especially if you're trekking along with a 10 year old daughter in frigid conditions. Then there's the fact that there's no proof to the contrary of what you are hoping to find. Tenacity and perseverance are great qualities in a person, but in this situation, it seems highly unrealistic.  And that's what bugs me about this book. The "realism" may only be what is expected, but not what have transpired in more than half of the book.

In all, beautifully written, unconvincing as a realistic thriller, that seems more like a bad dream than a possibility, even for the supposed brilliance of Yasmin, Matt and even the very likable 10 year old Ruby. Throw in a bit of political/social message, it spirals to a sense of ambivalence.

- Note: There are graphic violent scenes. - 

NOTE:  I received a complimentary advanced reader's copy of this book through Library Thing Early Reviewers for an honest review.



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Rosamund Lupton is the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the novels Sister and Afterwards. Her New York Times bestselling debut, Sister, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Target Book Club pick, and has been translated into over thirty languages with international sales of over 1.5 million copies. Lupton lives in London with her husband and two sons.

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