Thursday 14 January 2016

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

Initially I thought that the title, the setting - an icy Alaska, and the fact that I’ve enjoyed Rosamund Lupton’s previous books would lead to boredom and disappointment in this case. I therefore resisted picking it up. I have to say I couldn't have been more wrong. What I had missed was that there was a rambo-type mom and daughter, trying to navigate through the desolate, harsh environment to reach a father and husband, unsure of what they would encounter. Added to the dangers posed by the climate and a storm, someone is watching them in the dark. Oh, did I mention that it’s winter in Alaska, so no hours of daylight whatsoever?

I read this in the midst of a blazing heatwave, and loved the descriptions of the setting - a welcome respite for me. The fact that it was dark in no way limited the author’s imaginative painting of the beauty in this landscape. You’ll need cocoa if you read this in the cold. The writing is beautiful, and the relationship between Ruby and her mother is poignantly expressed, delicately told.

The creepiness of the evil lurking in the dark created palpable tension, and the search turned into a battle for survival with insurmountable odds.

There are a few disbeliefs to be suspended in the reading, but the emotional payoff for those suspensions was, in my view, worthwhile.

You really need to read this book, to experience it, to live in this world for a while.

Five chilling stars.

ISBN: 9781101903674)

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