First Line: It's FREEZING cold; like the air is made of broken glass.
Yasmin, a drop dead gorgeous astrophysicist, takes her ten-year-old deaf daughter Ruby to Alaska to spend time with her husband, Matt, a wildlife photographer. The two have just landed in Fairbanks and haven't even begun the last leg of their journey deep into the Arctic tundra when Yasmin is told that Matt is dead.
Yasmin does not believe what she's told, so she sets off with Ruby to find her husband. With a gargantuan storm moving in, Yasmin has one additional thing to fear: someone is following them through the endless Alaskan night, and there's no one else on the road to help.
Having read and loved Lupton's previous books, Sister and Afterwards (both of which I rated A+/five stars), I looked forward to The Quality of Silence with a great deal of anticipation. I am sorry to say that, although parts of Lupton's third book shine, it was a bit of a disappointment.
First and foremost, it seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a thriller, or is it a character study? Lupton's writing of driving an eighteen-wheeler through Alaska's endless night in blizzard conditions while being followed by some maniac is not up to her best, but it is good. What spoils the thriller aspect of her book for me is the character study part. Quite frankly, I wanted to lock Yasmin up and throw away the key. Anyone, man or woman, who would put their ten-year-old deaf child in the kind of danger that Yasmin does... well, it just beggars belief. I disliked Yasmin so much that I had an extremely difficult time buying into the story.
Lupton has some very important and interesting things to say about fracking, which plays a large role in the book. but for me the only time The Quality of Silence truly shines is when we listen to ten-year-old Ruby. Ruby is the true star of this book, and any time I was allowed to read this child's unique take on the world around her was a treat. Lupton has an interesting premise for this book, but her execution is uneven. If you want to read some truly beautiful writing, I would suggest her previous books, Sister and Afterwards.
The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
Crown Publishers © 2016
eBook, 304 pages
Source: Net Galley