The Quality of Silence
“Much like “The Revenant” and “The Hateful Eight,” Rosamund Lupton’s suspense novel The Quality of Silence pits its characters against a heartlessly cruel Mother Nature….About half of this teeth-chattering novel is narrated by the indomitable Ruby, who is profoundly deaf — and a model of girl power…. In this tale, the deadly cold and treacherous road are no match for the fiery heat of enduring love.”
– Carol Memmott, Washington Post
“A tight, claustrophobic thriller that will enclose readers in a world of cold from which there’s no escape….The author evokes a sense of absolute isolation that hovers at the edge of every scene….Lupton uses powerful, evocative language to craft a literary novel that sets a knife-edge of danger on every page, as readers follow mother and daughter through the forbidding landscape to a heart-stopping conclusion.”
– Barbara Clark, Bookpage
“Lupton delivers in spades… the “thrill” of this thriller is rooted strongly in the emotional conflict between family members both present and absent…The Quality of Silence comes absolutely recommended, offering thrills and family drama in equal measure along with some important real-world issues and emotion strong enough to take your breath away.”
– Addley Fannin, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
“A heart-stopping page-turner from bestseller Lupton…Lupton limns a starkly beautiful story at once as expansive as the aurora borealis and as intimate as a mother and daughter finally learning to truly hear each another.”
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Nail-bitingly suspenseful and chilling…Lupton demonstrates her mastery of the suspense genre in this dazzling tale of human resilience.”
– Library Journal, starred review
“The strongly visual story hits the ground running … this journey is paced like a bullet… Lupton is at her best when describing the dark, wintry wilderness and pitting her two female protagonists against all comers… Delivers an engrossing wallop of readable escapism.”
“A rip-roaring read full of both beatiful descriptions of the tundra and harrowing passages on the dangers of subzero temperatures.”
“I loved The Quality of Silence. It was scary, suspenseful and so exquisitely, evocatively written I often found myself shivering as if I were there in Alaska with Ruby and her mother. It was everything you want in a wonderful novel.”
– Liane Moriarty, bestselling author of The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies
“Like a breath of icy air, this relentlessly tense thriller is also a child’s-eye family drama like none other. Not since Smilla’s Sense of Snow have I shivered like this”
–Emma Donaghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room
“A taut psychological thriller … The Quality of Silence will have your heart thumping. Lupton’s masterful pacing, riveting plotting, and keen understanding of grief make her a winning rival of Tana French and Val McDermid. Absolutely gripping.”
– Louise Penny, New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of the Beast
“With The Quality of Silence, Rosamund Lupton brings her sophisticated brand of suspense to a setting that might have attracted Jack London: the remote frontier of northern Alaska. An elegant, chilling read from a writer who continues to stretch the bounds of suspense.”
–William Landay, author of New York Times bestseller Defending Jacob
My name is a shape, not a sound. I am a thumb and fingers, not a tongue and lips. I am 10 fingers raised old—I am a girl made of letters
And this is my voice.
With these words, Lupton introduces readers to Ruby, the narrator of THE QUALITY OF SILENCE. A fiercely intelligent ten-year-old, Ruby is enamored of music and Twitter, is in the midst of a falling-out with her best friend, and is trying to find her place among the cliques at her school. Profoundly deaf since birth, Ruby has never had an easy time finding her voice. In her parents—wildlife filmmaker Matt and astrophysicist Yasmin—Ruby has her greatest advocates; but Matt and Yasmin don’t always agree about what’s best for Ruby. They hadn’t been seeing eye-to-eye when Matt left their home in London for the remote Alaskan village of Anaktue on a project. Yasmin and Ruby had meant to meet Matt there for the holidays but after a fraught phone call, Yasmin decides her marriage cannot afford to wait much longer for a reunion. Fate, it seems, has willed Yasmin and Ruby to Alaska as they arrive in Fairbanks to earth-shattering news: a catastrophic accident has taken place at Anaktue, leaving no survivors. While the police have assured her they have done everything they can, Yasmin refuses to believe her husband is dead. Trusting in her connection with Matt, and the love they share for Ruby, Yasmin and her daughter set out on the Alaskan tundra in a desperate search for Matt—where it quickly becomes apparent that things are not what they seem. Someone is following Ruby and Yasmin, trying to keep them from reaching Anaktue and Matt. With danger at their heels, and the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness threatening them with each step, Yasmin and Ruby push on through the silent, endless night in search of the husband and father they love.
Lupton masterfully brings her characters and the Alaskan wilderness into brilliant, multi-dimensional life, painting a vivid portrait of love and family set against a beautiful but brutal landscape. Written in breathtaking, pitch-perfect prose, The Quality of Silence explores the powerful love of a family and the very limits of human resilience.
About the Author
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 more than thirty languages with international sales of more than 1.5 million copies. Lupton lives in London with her husband and two sons.