“On 24th November, Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrived in Alaska.
Within hours they were driving alone across a frozen wilderness
Where nothing grows
Where no one lives
Where tears freeze
And night will last for another 54 days.
They are looking for Ruby’s father.
Travelling deeper into a silent land.
They still cannot find him.
I am not quite sure what to say about The Quality of Silence. I was intrigued by the blurb as the story sounded really unique and I always love reading about places I’ve never been. Some chapters are told from the perspective of ten year old Ruby, who is completely deaf, and others from the perspective of her mum Yasmin. When they step off the plane in Alaska, they are met by a policeman in the place of Matt, Ruby’s Dad, who is working in the country. They are told that Matt has died in a terrible fire but Yasmin refuses to believe it and decides to risk the dangerous journey north to find him.
This is where things started niggling me. Would a mother really take a young child on such a dangerous journey? Would that mother seriously steal and drive a great big articulated truck along an ice road in a snow storm, with the child in the passenger seat? I would think that even someone with a truck license would struggle to drive in the sort of conditions described in the book! Although the book is well paced and is obviously written to build up tension, I think the fact that I just couldn’t believe the storylines meant that I didn’t feel particularly tense at any point or like I really needed to keep reading.
And then there was the fracking element. For me, it felt like the whole point of the book was to showcase the authors negative view on fracking and wasn’t about the story at all, which kind of spoiled the whole read for me. If I wanted to learn about fracking, there are lots of other places I would turn for information – I would never look to a novel for a balanced view (which this most definitely is not!). It’s a shame as I was looking forward to reading the book but unfortunately I just couldn’t get past the unrealistic plot lines.