“[…] she knew now that passion was love, at its most extreme edge, that made you cross an Arctic wilderness in winter” (169).
Here’s a tip: do not read this book in summer. It is just not a summer read. It is a book you should read on a cold and rainy Sunday in your PJs with a cup of tea and a wool blanket.
The Quality of Silence tells the story of Yasmin and her ten-year-old daughter Ruby who undertake a dangerous road trip in a truck across Northern Alaska to find Ruby’s father who is missing. On a long ice road in winter darkness, Yasmin contemplates her relationship with her husband, while Ruby, completely deaf since birth, must find other ways to communicate than by sight. The book is narrated by Yasmin and Ruby alternately. Yasmin gives insight in her worries about Ruby’s disability and the effect it will have on her daughter’s life. Ruby shines a different light on living in a world without sound.
The setting of this novel would give everybody the chills. Alone in unfamiliar, deathly cold and dark Alaska? An inexperienced driver on an ice road? Chased by someone unknown? A psychological thriller indeed. However, to me, the tension built up rather slowly. I had no trouble putting the book down until I was about halfway through. This should not be the case with a thriller. Still it was a nice read and I loved Ruby’s way of thinking. The Quality of Silence might not be a spine-chiller, but it is a complex and beautifully written novel.
Lupton, Rosamund. The Quality of Silence. London: Piatkus, (2015) 2016.