Review - The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
Crown Publishing
Publication Date: February 16, 2016
Date Read: January 6, 2016

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 have struggled with how I should rate this book.  I really liked a lot of things about this book but I had a few problems with it.  I consider this to be a good book overall that I wouldn't have any problems recommending to most readers.  I think that the three star rating that I finally went with is fair. 

Let's start with the things that I really liked about this book.  First of all, Ruby was a fantastic character.  She was smart, resourceful, and very brave.  I really wished that more of the book would have come from Ruby's point of view because her outlook on the world was just so interesting to me.  I think that the descriptions of her hearing loss were incredibly well done and it added a lot to the story.  Ruby was just an amazing child.

The setting in this book was wonderful.  This book is set in the winter months in Alaska.  I can't imagine that kind of cold.  At least, I couldn't before reading this book.  I thought that the conditions in this book were fantastically portrayed.  I read this book curled in a blanket hoping that I would never experience the kind of cold that I was reading about.   There was a beauty to this cold wilderness that really surprised me.  

I didn't love Yasmin but as the book progressed I started to understand her a bit.  She was a strong woman and very goal oriented.  Yasmin was not afraid to take risks.  I didn't like her at all for the first part of the story.  The way she was with Ruby made me want to strangle her at times.  As the story unfolded, her character really started to grow.  She got to know Ruby a bit better and before everything was over, I had warmed up to her a bit.  

The main problem with this book is that it felt like two different stories to me.  There is really very little cohesiveness between the first 2/3 of the book and the final section.  I mean some of the characters are the same and they were still in Alaska but that was about the only connection.  It was almost like the majority of the book was really just trying to get to the very exciting ending but it was such a sudden change in pace that it just didn't work for me.  The sudden shift in the book was really quite jarring for me and took me out of the story. 

I would recommend this book to others.  The descriptions were lovely and the writing style was really nice.  This is the first book by Rosamund Lupton that I have had a chance to read.  I would definitely read more of her work in the future. 

I won an advance reader edition of this book from Crown Publishing in a LibraryThing Early Reviewers giveaway for the purpose of providing an honest review.

About the Author

Photo: © Charlie Hopkinson
Rosamund Lupton is the internationally bestselling and critically acclaimed author of the novels Sister and Afterwards. Her New York Times bestselling debut, Sister, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice and Target Book Club pick, and has been translated into over thirty languages with international sales of over 1.5 million copies. Her new novel, The Quality of Silence, is forthcoming from Crown in 2016. Lupton lives in London with her husband and two sons.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter


  1. It does sound like the good points were good. The change in pace on the last third is worrisome though. I'm glad you still enjoyed it. Great review!

    1. Thanks, Grace! There was a lot that I really liked about this book. The last section of the book was good but the change was abrupt.

    2. I think that sometimes, the building up to a focal point can take a little too long, and then BAM! things happen so fast you almost have to stop to catch your breath. I think I'd enjoy Ruby, too, though :) I love it when characters in books are different from me, but that I can still connect to them, and it sounds like that happened for you with Ruby.
      Great review, Carole :)
      Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    3. Thanks, Lexxie! In some ways it almost felt like two different books. Ruby was a wonderful character. I just wish that more of the story could have been from her point of view.

  2. I'm glad Ruby's hearing loss was handled well. That interesting how it changed like that. Weird. Seems good though.

    1. Ruby was a very interesting character. I did enjoy that her hearing loss was presented well. The change in the pace of the book was shocking for me.

  3. The plot and setting are original and intriguing, bummer for the change of pace, though...

    1. There was a lot of good in this book. I just wished that there had a been a smoother transition into the climax of the story.

  4. The blurb seemed suspenseful and promising, I'm glad that you liked the book but it does put a damper on things when there isn't any "cohesiveness" in the stories :/ Fantastic review Carole!

    1. Thanks, Natasha Anne! I did like a lot of things about this book. I just wish that the transition in the story could have been a lot smoother. I really felt like it felt like two different books in some ways.


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