Tuesday 8 September 2015

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

It's late November and Yasmin and her daughter have arrived at an Alaskan airport where they are supposed to be meeting Yasmin's husband, Matt. Matt is a wildlife filmmaker and has been living in a remote Alaskan village for the past few months. Yasmin and daughter Ruby were planning to visit at Christmas but after a phone call a few days previously where Matt admitted to kissing another woman - a local in the village - Yasmin brought their trip forward to confront him.
But Yasmin and Ruby aren't met by Matt. Instead, Yasmin is told the devastating news that the village Matt has been living in has burned down in a tragic accident, killing all the residents. Including Matt.
But Yasmin doesn't believe her husband is dead. When the police are reluctant to help, Yasmin feels she has no choice but to take Ruby with her to search in the arctic conditions for her husband herself. Danger lurks as they set off on their journey - and not just because of the freezing conditions. Someone is watching Yasmin and her daughter. Someone who doesn't want her to reach the village and discover its secrets.
I've been waiting to read the third book by Rosamund Lupton for SO LONG. I devoured the previous books, Sister and Afterwards and while I found The Quality of Silence to be quite different from these, I gobbled it up just as quickly. Lupton has a way of drawing me into the worlds of her characters, teasing out the information and leaving me desperate to read on and discover the thrilling story contained within the pages.
The story is told from different perspectives, mainly Yasmin and her daughter Ruby's and I immediately felt drawn towards Ruby. I loved her childlike thoughts and her brilliant humour. Ruby is deaf, which brings with it quite a few difficulties, particularly at school and I couldn't help feeling for her as she describes her troubles with the other children.
Ruby also has some struggles with her mother Yasmin, who is eager for Ruby to speak with her mouth rather than relying on sign language all the time. I could understand Yasmin's need for her daughter to fit in more with society, but I also felt for Ruby and her own needs. Yasmin only wants the best for her daughter but Ruby doesn't want to give in to her mother's expectations and wants to be herself. Their difference of opinion creates a definite barrier between them and as such Ruby feels closer to her father Matt than Yasmin and I was hoping their time together would somehow balance the bond between Ruby and her parents more evenly.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading the book as the blurb isn't overly descriptive but I enjoyed the writing and was soon hooked. I didn't have the faintest clue where the book was heading for a long time but I was enjoying the journey so much that I didn't mind at all. It did soon become apparent that all was not what it seemed with regards to the village fire and I was intrigued to find out what was going on.
There is somebody watching Yasmin and Ruby as they make their way across Alaska, creating tension and I thought there was just the right amount of menace throughout, starting off in the background before slowly mounting to a fantastic finale. I was surprised at the abrupt ending - so much so that I went back to see if I'd missed anything - but on the whole I loved the book and didn't want to put it down, reading the whole thing in a frenzy over a couple of days.

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