THE QUALITY OF SILENCE by Rosamund Lupton

QualityOfSilence
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Source: Crown’s Blogging for Books
Rating: ★★★


The gripping, moving story of a mother and daughter’s quest to uncover a dark secret in the Alaskan wilderness, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sister and Afterwards.

Thrillingly suspenseful and atmospheric, The Quality of Silence is the story of Yasmin, a beautiful astrophysicist, and her precocious deaf daughter, Ruby, who arrive in a remote part of Alaska to be told that Ruby’s father, Matt, has been the victim of a catastrophic accident. Unable to accept his death as truth, Yasmin and Ruby set out into the hostile winter of the Alaskan tundra in search of answers. But as a storm closes in, Yasmin realizes that a very human danger may be keeping pace with them. And with no one else on the road to help, they must keep moving, alone and terrified, through an endless Alaskan night.


I’m not quite sure what to make of this book. There were parts I absolutely loved and parts that just didn’t work. The premise of THE QUALITY OF SILENCE is hard to believe, but the wild Alaskan setting is amazing.

Matt is a wildlife photographer currently filming in northern-most Alaska. There’s some kind of trouble between him and his wife, Yasmin. She and their 10-year old daughter, Ruby, fly from their home in the UK to Fairbanks to confront Matt, only to be told that he’s been killed in a terrible accident. Yasmin doesn’t believe that he’s dead, so she decides to drive with Ruby across Alaska, over snowy, icy mountains, practically to the Arctic Ocean, to find him.

Now, I did enjoy their frantic journey north toward Deadhorse very much. It was scary and suspenseful. The descriptions of Alaska were breathtaking, “thousands of miles of snow and hardly any people.” Each time a landmark was mentioned, I had to Google it. It’s dark all the time and there’s a blizzard bearing down on them. Gave me chills!

The writing didn’t flow particularly well, mainly due to the many abrupt perspective changes. First to third person, character to character. Flashbacks to the present. Ruby’s part was always in first person, and she was my favorite character by far. It was interesting to learn the challenges she faced as a deaf person in a hearing world, and somehow even getting her mother to understand where’s she’s coming from (with help from Alaska).

Overall, I’m glad I read this book. The twist at the end was disturbing and eyeopening too. It concerns me that something like that could happen, or perhaps already has.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Crown Publishing Group’s Blogging for Books Program in exchange for an honest review.

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7 thoughts on “THE QUALITY OF SILENCE by Rosamund Lupton

  1. Hmmm…yours is not the only review that I’ve read giving a mixed experience with this book. I loved Rosamund Lupton’s previous book – well, I really liked her first one too (SISTER), but AFTERWARDS was wonderful. I have a copy of THE QUALITY OF SILENCE but I keep putting it down after picking it up. I suspect I’ll read it before long, mostly because of the Alaska setting.

  2. I almost chose Sister as my next read, I look forward to trying her books. The Alaska background sounds amazing and scary. I enjoy different perspectives but at the same time may be difficult, I can understand that messing with the flow.

  3. Sounds like there are reasons for and against this book. I think the whole Alaskan thing would be fascinating. Not sure I could cope with all the perspective changes, hate being ripped out of one point of view to another too often.

  4. I’ve been on the fence about this one and your review definitely has me leaning towards no. I love the sound of the Alaskan setting and the experiences of a deaf character but the aspects that don’t work concern me especially since this is a book I’m interested in but not enthusiastic about.

  5. I agree with all your comments but I have to say I still really enjoyed the book. I just decided to suspend belief and let the pace take me along with it.

  6. Hmm, I don’t know. I wanted so badly to read this because I love books about man vs. nature, such as Alaska or Arctic stories. Also the child being deaf puts an interesting angle to it. My husband is now partially deaf and I know what a struggle it is to live with someone with this problem. I don’t mind the unrealistic issues as much as the jumping around, different narrators, different tenses, that bugs me. Thanks for being honest. I might read it if the library has it for free, though.

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