The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton has been sitting on my bookshelf for almost 18 months and now I wish that I’d picked it up sooner. This unexpected story is compelling, unsettling, and hopeful at once.
Yasmin, brilliant and slightly cross, and her deaf 10-year-old daughter Ruby arrive in Alaska to meet their husband/father, Matt. Once they’ve landed at the airport, they learn that the small village where Matt was staying suffered a terrible fire. When police tell them that no one could have survived, Yasmin and Ruby refuse to listen and instead set out on a wild and wicked journey to find him.
What they find at the end of their journey is shocking, but what they learn along the way is just as compelling, if not more so. We learn that Yasmin desperately wants Ruby to speak with her mouth while Ruby wants to speak with her hands. It’s touching as the pair begins to understand each other.
“It wasn’t that Yasmin wanted Ruby to speak so much as she wanted her to be heard.”
The story shifted between Yasmin and Ruby’s perspectives and I loved this aspect of the book. Both points of view were true to character and provided really contrasting views of the same situations.
I enjoyed The Quality of Silence very much and hope that you’ll pick it up as well!
I’m happy to report that I’ve read another one of Beatriz Williams’ books (this time, The Wicked City) and have been completely captivated by the story. She has an extraordinary way of bringing characters to life, especially through their dialogue and quick-witted thoughts. I’m reminded yet again of why she’s one of my favorite authors!
The Wicked City shares the stories of two women, both living in New York City, during very different time periods. Meet Gin Kelly, a firecracker of a girl living in New York City during the 1920’s. She came to the city to escape her despicable stepfather, but before too long she gets caught up in his bootlegging business and is pulled back to her small hometown. Along the way, she comes across Anson, the stoic, noble, quiet do-gooder who might just be the only man that can throw her for a loop.
Shift forward to 1998 and we meet Ella, a woman also living in New York City, who just learned that her beloved husband is a rather dirty fellow. As she tries to recover from this shock, she finds herself in Gin’s old stomping grounds and although 70 years have passed, she can almost sense her presence. I appreciate that Williams brought a bit of the magic from the 1920’s to the 1990’s.
My only criticism is that the plot left a couple loose ends and some of Ella’s story line was a bit unrealistic, but it was fun. I still really enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it!
“She wanted the radiant, satisfied skin her mother had. The adoring gaze that followed her mother around the house.”
Emma has never felt at home with her family in England so when she had the chance to move to New York City for her finance career, she took it. 5 years later, she’s sick of her stress-filled life and decided to quit her job and move to a coastal town in Connecticut. Throughout Falling by Jane Green, Emma attempts to get in touch with who she is and what she wants.
It turns out that her handsome landlord and his cute young son may be the answer to what she’d been looking for, but hadn’t been expecting. At its core, this book explores what it means to be a family.
While the book had a fun and playful tone (the writing style was light and straightforward), it was also unexpectedly sad and I didn’t see that coming. Some aspects of Falling were a little cheesy, but the emotions shared were real.
I enjoyed the New England setting and the playful tone of the book. On the other hand, the main character, Emma, tended to dramatize situations and those sections of the book dragged. Overall, Falling isn’t a book I plan to read for a second time.
In the year 2074, a civil war rips apart the United States of America. The North has prohibited the use of fossil fuels in the country to help preserve the environment and the South disagrees. American War by Omar El Akkad is thought provoking and horrifying at once in the way that it examines a second civil war and two deeply passionate and opposing sides.
At the center of this story is Sarat Chestnut, who was born in Louisiana. As the war builds, Sarat and her family are displaced and move to Camp Patience with other refugees. The tragedies she faced hardened her and drove her to make a tremendous impact in the war. While she’s the hero for one side, she’s another person’s villain. It interesting to think that one person could play both roles simultaneously.
American War explores themes of loyalty, revenge, pride, and what right and wrong means in capacity of war. This is a really well written book and I would like to read it again.