Tuesday, February 9, 2016
read | The Quality of Silence
The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton is about a woman who, when her husband is presumed dead in remote Alaska, takes her ten-year-old daughter (who's deaf, by the way) in an eighteen-wheeler on a perilous road trip to find him. I liked reading about such an unusual situation - I can say with confidence that this is the only book involving the Alaskan trucker scene I've ever read. The main story is a thriller/mystery, and it was more effective than I expected. I read the book in one day (not impossible since the book is under 300 pages) and it definitely kept me captivated the whole time.
The main voices of this story are Yasmin in third person and her daughter Ruby in first person, which I appreciated because it made it very clear when there was a perspective change.We learn about the man they're trying to rescue, if he's even alive, through their memories of him. I liked this approach as a way to give a very contained story some variety, but I don't think the characters were completely developed. I feel like I have about eighty percent of a book. I need a little more time with the characters.
The ending really picks up, but the pacing feels inconsistent with the rest of the book. As you would imagine, Yasmin and Ruby spend a lot of time in the truck. They have ample opportunity to reflect on their lives, which they do, and in comparison the ending felt rushed. It was interesting to have a deaf character, but I would have liked to see more of Ruby dealing with people other than her mother. I also don't think we learn enough about Yasmin to understand why in earth she would take a primary schooler on a life-threatening mission. We're told Ruby wouldn't want to stay with anyone else, but this still seems like a massively irresponsible decision on Yasmin's part. This is compounded by some subsequent moves, but they're kind of spoilery so I'll leave them out.
What really surprises me is the quality of this book. My copy, at least, has a slipcover that's too big. I know that's not a huge deal, but for a list price of $26.00 I think it's strange. I'm really only talking about the things that bothered me, but overall I did enjoy the book, and if you can suspend your disbelief in a few instances it's worth a read.
3 out of 5 stars
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.