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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 50 star ratings
3 reviews

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    An unsettling mystery

    The Silence is an unsettling mystery which is told in two timelines. In 1997, Isla is living and working in London when she is contacted by her father, Joe, in Australia. The police say Joe was the last person to see the family’s neighbour, Mandy, before she went missing in 1967 and, if they find her body, he will be their chief suspect in the murder case. Returning to Australia is an emotional rollercoaster for Isla. Spending time with Joe, her alcoholic father, and Louisa, her bitter mother, is not a relaxing holiday. Although in this timeline she discovers more and more about that summer in 1967, she also discovers everyone’s recollections are quite different and tainted by their personal issues. Even Isla and her younger brother's memories and perceptions of their parents greatly differ. In the 1967 scenes Allott gradually reveals the circumstances leading up to Mandy’s disappearance. Joe and Louisa’s dramas are depicted along with those of Mandy and her husband, Steve, until the climactic scene showing just what happened to Mandy. The flashbacks are chronological and the tension and pacing builds perfectly until the climactic scene. The various characters all have to face up to their dark sides and the consequences of their actions. A lot of topical issues, from the time and still today, are covered including the forced removal of Aboriginal children, the lack of rights for women, alcoholism, PTSD, domestic violence and police corruption. The title of the book is very clever and refers to a few things; none which I can mention without spoiling. Apart from those tangible happenings in the book, The Silence title also added another layer to the stifling atmosphere which I thought Allott nailed. Actually I think the main way I’d describe The Silence is 'atmospheric'. The prose is deceptively simple and whilst reading I felt like I really was in 1967, living through a hot dry summer in a world with limited or no rights unless you were a white male. The Australian-ness of the setting was also spot on and I was surprised to find that Allott only lived here for a short while (although she does have the advantage of being married to an Aussie).
  • 4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    The Silence

    Well told story, a wonderful sense of time and place, loved the true Australasian dialogue. Swim suits should have been togs but and thongs Jandals. It was a great story and hard to put down. Well worth a look.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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    A good story line overall.

    A good story line over all. However, I found it frustrating and even infuriating with going to and fro between 1967 and 1997 and between two main families. Seemed to lose the thread of it at times.

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