Set in the extreme landscape of Alaska, THE QUALITY OF SILENCE follows the story of Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby. Yasmin arrives in Alaska to be told her husband, Matt, is dead, the victim of a catastrophic accident. Yasmin, unable to accept this as truth, sets out into the frozen winter landscape, taking Ruby with her in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realises 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.
In a story that explores the very limits of human resilience, The Quality of Silence is as much about a mother learning to hear her deaf daughter as it is about their journey across the vastness of Alaska, and proves, once again, that Rosamund Lupton is a storyteller of class and elegance.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Quality of Silence!
I haven’t read Rosamund Lupton’s previous books, but was completely intrigued by the synopsis, and I can honestly say I’ve never read anything like it.
As soon as Ruby and Yasmin land in Alaska, they know something isn’t right, and when the police tell her that Matt is dead, Yasmin refuses to believe it. Together they set off on a treacherous journey to find him, battling through the endless night and ferocious storms. Rosamund has done incredible job of making the reader feel the utter bleakness of the dark, cold and unforgiving surroundings of Alaskan night. I have read this through the heatwave, and even sat in 30 degrees of heat, I could feel a chill around me.
The story is told from both the wonderful Ruby’s point of view, and her beautiful and intelligent mother Yasmin’s. Ruby’s parts are in first person, and despite being the fact she doesn’t ever talk out loud, she has such a wonderfully strong voice and character. I always enjoy reading books written through the eyes of a child as they see the world so differently, and this is probably the best I’ve ever seen it done. Ruby is so clever, so kind and so wonderful, it was impossible not to fall in love with her. Her warmth and sweetness beautifully countered the cold, bleak setting.
The storyline itself was utterly gripping right from the very beginning, as you are desperate to know if Matt really is alive, if they can find him, and if they can even survive the journey. The journey itself is dangerous enough, but when things start to get sinister around them, the tensions grow even higher.
Overall, this thriller is beautifully written, packed with suspense, and sure to give you chills.
About Rosamund Lupton
Rosamund Lupton graduated from Cambridge University in 1986. After reviewing books for the Literary Review and being invited to join the Royal Court Theatre, she won a television play competition and subsequently worked as a full-time script writer for television and film.
Her first novel, Sister, was the fastest-selling debut of 2010 by a British author and was the winner of the Richard and Judy Best Debut Novel of 2011. It was also chosen for Radio 4’s
Book at Bedtime. Her second novel, Afterwards, was the second biggest-selling fiction title of 2011 as listed by The Sunday Times, with UK sales alone of more than 200,000 copies.
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