The Silence by Susan Allott: Your Preview Verdict

The Silence by Susan Allott: Your Preview Verdict

Susan Allott’s latest book is an intricate mystery, just waiting to be revealed to readers. A unique tale of family and history, The Silence surrounds all things dark and hidden.

Read some 5 star reviews from our Preview readers here:

This is a great book! It did take me a couple of chapters to get used to the style of the story, but once you get into it, it really grabs your attention and it’s hard to put down! – Eliza, QLD, 5 stars

Beautiful writing that captivated me from the start. Deeply flawed characters that left you trying to understand them more often than disliking them. The mystery itself slowly unraveled and within it a necessary story was told. For me, growing up in America and moving to Australia 5 years ago, it was my first time learning about the Stolen Generation, but it certainly won’t be my last in exploring Australia’s history and The Silence that still seems to be at play today. Thank you Susan Allott for this must read book. – Erin, NSW, 5 stars

During the Summer of 1967, Mandy the Greens’ next-door neighbour disappears. It is now 1997 and her family is now trying to locate her but there is no trace of her. Isla’s father, Joe is the last person to see her alive.    Isla returns to Sydney from London to support her family during the investigation. The more Isla delves into the past the more she learns that things are often not what they seem and through her own persistent questions the truth is finally realized. The story is told mostly from the perspective of Isla aged 4 in 1967 and aged 35 in 1997.    The book also tells briefly of a part of Australia’s history which until recent years has remained largely untold and the information at the end of the book warrants further reading on the subject.    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I was born in 1966 and can recall the stinking hot summers and days spent at the beach and hedges between houses as described. – Carolyn, WA, 5 stars

What a page turner. From the early morning phone call in London, Isla is torn between supporting her father, who is accused of murdering Isla’s much beloved neighbour,Mandy, and is divided about where she should be and what is important to her- in London where she works and lives, or in Sydney where her father moved the family in the 1960s. A childhood described in great detail about Australian suburbia, the heat of summer, the nearby beach, the “stolen generation”, a sense of loss and secrets.All those silences of things unsaid in family and a nation – a common phenomena in 1960s Australia. I loved the dialogue and the well drawn characters and the evocative atmosphere that the author Susan Allott has created. The reader is drawn along through a wonderfully crafted novel that is “unputdownable” to the surprising end. Would make a great telemovie I think. – Kay, QLD, 5 stars

Susan Allott’s The Silence is an evocative study of memory, truth and lies and the effect of these on the relationships with those the characters love.  Isla has  a new life in England but is called back when her father is under suspicion for the murder of a neighbour 30 years before. Childhood memories resurface and secrets are slowly revealed through the eyes of the central characters. A slow burning, thoughtful and powerful work that stays with you long after the last page. Loved it. Thank you Better Reading and Borough Press for my advance review copy, will be rereading this again – Juanita, NSW, 5 stars

Fantastic read, I couldn’t put it down. It would be a great choice for any book club. – Nicole, VIC, 5 stars

Enjoyed this book immensely.  I was captivated from the first page.  A well written book that made mention of characters that I could understand and/or relate to, especially their livelihood and jobs. – Annette, NSW, 5 stars

Thanks very much for the opportunity to read and review The Silence. It had me hooked from the first few pages – I love a mystery and it kept me guessing until almost the end.    The silence of the title refers to several different storylines – the removal of Aboriginal children from their families and domestic violence within marriages. Also the difficulties faced by migrants adjusting to a new country and all that entails.   Add in an underlying thread of alcoholism and whether it is inherited or not.   Because of where I live I am well aware of the incredible distress still felt today by what is know as the Stolen Generation.   I found all the characters very believable and empathised with the difficulties they faced and the choices they were forced to make.    A thoroughly enjoyable book which I completely read in about three sessions. – Elizabeth, NSW, 5 stars

The story description for The Silence by Susan Allott immediately piqued my interest.  This book, whilst mainly focusing on the disappearance of Mandy and the mystery of who is responsible, touches on many difficult subjects.  It explores burdensome secrets, domestic abuse, alcoholism and toxic relationships.  It was brilliantly written and a thoroughly enjoyable read – I actually read it in one sitting as I was completely hooked. – Natalie, NSW, 5 stars

This book to a couple of chapters to get into but then – it was great!  What a wonderful debut novel.  A well researched story about a very dark part of Australia’s history but also issues that face so many families – alcoholism and family violence and how often they go hand in hand and destroy families.  Susan’s writing flows beautifully and the characters are familiar and believable.  I look forward to more of her books in the future.  – Nicole, VIC, 5 stars

This book to a couple of chapters to get into but then – it was great!  What a wonderful debut novel.  A well researched story about a very dark part of Australia’s history but also issues that face so many families – alcoholism and family violence and how often they go hand in hand and destroy families.  Susan’s writing flows beautifully and the characters are familiar and believable.  I look forward to more of her books in the future.  – Glenice, VIC, 5 stars

The Silence is a compelling and atmospheric novel that brilliantly captures the dynamics of two dysfunctional families in 1960s Australia. Weaving through the narrative is the appalling, government-sanctioned practice of removing Aboriginal children from their families. The shockwaves of decisions made and secrets kept reverberate through to the 1990s where the mystery of Mandy’s disappearance will finally be revealed. Highly recommended – I finished it in two nights! – Lisa, NSW, 5 stars

What a book!  It transported me back to suburbia in the 1960s, a very different Australia to the one we know today.  A time many Australians are ashamed of, for injustices conducted by those in charge.  A time when neighbours saw a lot, but remained silent for fear of getting involved.  We follow Isla Green battling her own demons, complex family relationships and unravelling the secrets buried by the neighbourhood and the past. You no sooner empathise with characters, then find yourself disliking them as each secret is unveiled.  This book keeps you guessing until the very end.  A wonderfully written book which makes you feel as though you are right there with the characters.  A brilliant debut novel! – Emma, QLD, 5 stars

Reviews

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              Publisher details

              The Silence
              Author
              Susan Allott
              Publisher
              HarperCollins
              Genre
              Fiction
              Released
              20 April, 2020

              Synopsis

              It is 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father, phoning from Sydney.It is 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father, Joe, phoning from Sydney.30 years ago, in the suffocating heat of summer 1967, the Greens' next-door neighbour Mandy disappeared. Joe claims he thought she had gone to start a new life; but now Mandy's family is trying to reconnect, and there is no trace of her. Isla's father was allegedly the last person to see her alive, and he's under suspicion of murder.Back home in Sydney, Isla's search for the truth takes her back to 1967, when two couples lived side by side on a quiet street by the sea. Could her father be capable of doing something terrible? How much does her mother know? And is there another secret in this community, one which goes deeper into Australia's colonial past, which has held them in a conspiracy of silence?Deftly exploring the deterioration of relationships and the devastating truths we keep from those we love, The Silence is a stunning debut from a rising literary star.
              Susan Allott
              About the author

              Susan Allott

              Susan Allott is from the UK but spent part of her twenties in Australia, desperately homesick but trying to make Sydney her home. In 2016 she completed the Faber Academy course, during which she started writing this novel. She now lives in south London with her two children and her very Australian husband.

              Books by Susan Allott

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