Silence is Deafening

The Alaskan wilderness during the harsh winter months when it’s primarily dark outside and storms roll in like waves. The calm before the storm colloquialism we have is both literal and figurative and silence plays a role in it. The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton shows how the silence associated with deafness is anything but quiet.

10-year old Ruby and her mother Yasmin leave their home in London to visit her father, Matt, far north of the Arctic Circle in Alaska. Upon arrival the details surrounding the tragedy that happened in the village Matt was staying in are kept vague from Ruby due to her deafness. But Ruby is inquisitive and demands to learn more about her travels with her mother to find her father, who is presumed dead by the police force. Commandeering a big rig and driving on the ice road toward the remote village, Yasmin learns more about her daughter as they fight for survival.

An interesting story with strong characterization to make it easy to root for the family to come to a happy resolution. Ruby is a precocious girl, born to intellectual parents, who has unique insights on life as a result of her hearing impairment–the manner in which she describes various things and sounds sheds them in a new light for readers who can hear (and perhaps take it for granted). The narration’s switches in perspective weren’t as jarring as I thought they’d be, and instead seemed to flow rather naturally from one person to the next in describing the current scenario. While I find it a bit hard to believe that Yasmin and Ruby would have managed to trek on the ice road in the first place, I’m happy to suspend my disbelief for the resulting narrative.

Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


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