Saturday, February 20, 2016

(18)The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton


Yasmin and her daughter, Ruby traveled all the way from London to Alaska to see her husband, Matt.  Ruby is a precocious ten year old who is deaf and uses social media to give herself a voice.  Matt is wildlife photographer who has been working in the most remote areas of Alaska and in a recent call confessed to Yasmin that he kissed another woman.  Yasmin and Ruby are rocked when they were  told upon their arrival that Matt was killed in a tragic fire that killed all of the residents of the little village where he was staying.  Yasmin just doesn't believe what the police are telling her because she knows that Matt called her when they said he was dead.  No, she didn't actually hear his voice, but she just knows that he is still alive.  Yasmin and Ruby set off on their own, they hitch a ride with a kindhearted truck driver and set out for the wilds of Alaska.  When their driver falls sick,  Yasmin and Ruby take his truck and keep going, but there is somebody out there on the dangerous Alaskan roads that does not want Yasmin to reach her destination.  Soon Yasmin is threatened by both the dangerous man chasing them and the dangerous elements of the dark Alaskan winter.  Will Yasmin and Ruby be able to survive the trip to the village?  Will they be able to find Matt or did he really perish in that deadly fire?

In recent memory, I don't think I have read such a terrifying novel.  The time that Yasmin and Ruby were out on the Alaskan highway really struck me as terrifying.  Not just because there was a bad man after them, but because of the deteriorating conditions of the weather and the highway.  It reminded me of those reality shows my husband loves - Ice Road Truckers. Except Yasmin has no experience driving a big rig and her young daughter was with her. It really made it a terrifying read.  The bitter weather conditions could have killed before the bad man could catch them.  Ten year old Ruby was another wonderful addition to the story.  She is a smart little girl who is wise beyond her years because of her inability to hear or really speak. She was the most likable character in the book.  Now, I will warn you that The Quality of Silence has some serious political undertones.  Specifically about the controversial topic of fracking.   If you can look past the political undertones you will find an engrossing thriller that will keep you up at night.

Bottom line - The Quality of Silence was a terrifying and thrilling read set against the backdrop of the gorgeous, yet dangerous,  Alaskan winter.  Definitely worth the read if you love a good thriller - or even a good reality show.

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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