Yasmin and her deaf daughter Ruby arrive in Alaska and are met at the airport by a policeman instead of her husband. The police are convinced that Matt has died in a tragic fire but Yasmin refuses to believe this. Within hours she and her young daughter are driving across the frozen wilderness where nothing grows, and tears can freeze in an instant. In round the clock dark they search for Ruby’s father and as they travel ever deeper over a silent land and into an approaching storm they become aware that they are being followed.
This stylish and unique literary thriller has it all: not only is it beautifully written and gives the reader a meaningful glimpse into what it is to be deaf, it has edge-of-your seat suspense, memorable characters, current and relevant issues, multiple twists in the plot, and some glorious and terrifying descriptions of the Arctic landscape in all its beauty and deadly darkness. It contains not only an exploration of an extraordinary Arctic land, but also the interior landscape of a profoundly deaf child.
The author makes you experience the biting cold, the sting of grief, the drive to survive, the weight of responsibility, the love of family, the mustering of courage, the agony of defeat, and the triumph of overcoming. Atmospheric and gripping, this is the kind of gem I look for where literary excellence and commercial readability meet.
The British are huge crime fiction fans…me, not so much. So I tried one that was supposed to be literary as well as scary. Well, not so much…
Beatrice receives a call from London when her sister goes missing. She leaves New York and flies over to help. As Beatrice discovers what happened to Tess, she also discovers more about their relationship. The whole story is a report to the police from Beatrice, who has become the detective in her sister’s case. So at the beginning the reader knows that a solution was found, a criminal was caught, and that Beatrice, though shaken, is ok now. Much of her narration is directed towards her sister, speaking to her, which is a bit of an annoying style.
However, I did keep reading and was turning pages because of little reveals and clues along the way. Towards the end there is a surprise and a thriller bit, but for me it was too little, too late. The sisters’ relationship was overly sentimental and seemed contrived. Can you really reconnect in new ways with someone through memory? And though there were plenty of possible bad guys along the way, there was not really enough action. So, I found it lacking on all fronts. If you have read this book and disagree, I would love to hear from you since maybe it was just the space I was in when I read it. That does happen, I did find some good reviews. Goodreads gave it a 3.79, in my opinion that was generous.