How did I get the book? Blogger Event thank you @ Hot Key Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Synopsis: When fifteen-year-old Queenie escapes from the squalid slums of nineteenth-century London, she has no idea about the dangers of the dark world she is about to become embroiled in. Initially thrilled at being taken on as a maid for the seemingly respectable Waters sisters, Queenie comes to realise that something is very wrong with the dozens of strangely silent babies being ‘adopted’ into the household.
Meanwhile, lonely and unloved sixteen-year-old Ellen is delighted when her handsome and charming young cousin Jacob is sent to live with her family. She thinks she has finally found a man to fall in love with and rely on, but when Jacob cruelly betrays her she finds herself once again at the mercy of her cold-hearted father. Soon the girls’ lives become irrevocably entwined in this tension-filled drama. THE QUIETNESS is a novel of friendship and trust in the darkest of settings.
200words (or less) review: The Quietness is a beautifully written and haunting tale of two girls in Victorian London. Queenie is poor, with a father who drinks and more siblings then they can feed. Ellen on the other hand is a privileged young lady. Both girls meet at the house of the Water sisters, Queenie is the maid and Ellen a ‘guest’.
There is much to love about The Quietness; apart from the wonderful writing you have two completely different characters, neither of which is preferable to the other. The alternating narration (3rd person vs 1st) is a little unusual but you get used to it pretty quickly.
While it’s easy to sympathise with Queenie from the start I was surprised by how much I cared about Ellen. Her father made my blood boil on so many occasions and how I wish I could have crawled into the pages to yell at him. (I always think it’s the best books that make you want to do that.)
I can only compliment Alison Rattle on a great story with a brave ending. I don’t want to spoil anything but wow I was still thinking about it long after I finished the book.