While gritty and sad, In the Quiet is an uplifting and heartwarming story. It’s a beautiful depiction of Australian rural life; a hymn to horses and a raw and compelling take on the challenges and realities of country life.
Cate Carlton has died, though why or how remains a mystery for most of the novel. She leaves behind three growing children, and a husband, sister, mother, and friends, all struggling to makes sense of life without her.
Cate narrates the story as she watches those she’s left behind grapple with their intertwined lives and the heartbreak they continue to suffer. Her children – twin boys who turn 18 and a girl who turns 13 during the course of the novel – face the problems of adolescence without their mother, while their father faces their pain and his own each day. Complicating matters is a secret that only one child shared with his mother and this is teased out throughout the novel, leaving us hungrily turning the pages.
In the Quiet is the moving work of a debut novelist. Eliza Henry Jones has worked as a grief counsellor and therapist and this shows in this raw and gritty depiction of three teenagers grieving for their mother and a man for his wife. The level of empathy and the well-drawn observations of life on a rural horse property are remarkable for a first-time, 25-year-old author.
In the Quiet is a story that leaves us feeling sad and raw at times, but it’s ultimately satisfying and uplifting. “You will weep, and marvel, and pass this book on, and on, to your friends,” says bestselling Australian author Nikki Gemmell (Shiver). We agree wholeheartedly.