Book Review: The Quality of Silence (death of an idea)


The Quality of Silence, Rosamund Lupton

This book is a classic example of what happens when there is no editor on duty and a writer decides that plot is more important than anything else. The main character is a deaf nine year old girl, who has been dragged to Alaska by her unstable mother to look for her father who has disappeared. The relationship between mother and daughter is what the author really should have felt confident enough about to focus the book on that, instead of an over-wrought, impossible plot. At every twist and turn (the mother, with zero related background, at one point is driving a semi truck (think Ice Truckers) in the dark, fleeing a shadowy pursuer, etc) the plot becomes more and more unbelievable and therefore frustrating to the reader.

Had the plot/subplots been reversed, this novel could have been a really interesting examination of the clash between the deaf and hearing worlds, the desires of a parent to do what they think will best assist their child in making their way through the world versus the child’s own perception of themselves and what might, or might not, be her disability. I would have much preferred that book over what was produced instead, where the relationship was lost to the fantastic, unbelievable, and over-the-top screenplay it was buried in.

2 stars.


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