Silence is defined as: the complete absence of sound.
For the majority of us, we have never truly experienced silence. We can “be still” and “be quiet” but true silence is unfathomable, incomprehensible, a mystery. The world we live in is one MADE of sound. Even in the quietest of places ambient noise encircles us, adds depth to our surroundings. It’s what we KNOW.
But what if, in the blink of an eye, all that changed?
What if…in one second, one twists of fate, one unhappy accident your world morphed from one of music and laughter into one of abrupt silence?
Would you be able to handle it? Would losing such an important sense send you into a tailspin?
Would experiencing “true” silence for the very first time bring you to life?
Deborah Lytton explores these questions and more inside her novel “Silence.”
Much like Benway’s “Emmy and Oliver” “Silence” is a very straight forward/sweet love story between two teens that find themselves in the middle of very unfortunate circumstances.
Stella (one of the two narrative voices inside of “Silence”) starts the book as your every day (predictable whiney, obnoxiously unhappy) teenage girl. If I’m being honest, I despised her a little at the forefront of this novel. Though seemingly “shy” she also exudes this level of arrogant flippancy that drove me crazy. She would make snide comments about her best friend Lily only to turn around and exhibit the same behavior. It was a bit of a turn off. Thankfully, Stella goes through a character development 180 after her accident (mostly due to the help of Hayden) and her personality, actions and motives become much more truthful, and…well…like-able. (Which I – personally – always find to be a positive attribute in a protagonist.) Her growth (and Hayden’s as well) drive the story forward.
As for Hayden, he was ALWAYS like-able. A little down in the dumps when it comes to self-esteem, but even that seemed to be a natural response to his horrific upbringing. (Side note: I have never wanted to punch a fictional mother as much as Hayden’s. Ever. I’m fairly certain my face turned red and I started speaking in some sort of alien tongue vaguely disguised as anger.) Unlike Stella, Hayden’s journey is an old one. Abused as a child he used vocal silence as a way to escape. Not speaking meant not condemning. (Not wise, but…there you have it.) During his time of silence though, he learned a lot about the way the world works. He discovered what makes people operate, respond, and because of this insight he decides instantly that these too are lesson Stella would benefit from. The “Education of living outside of yourself” if you will.
Life I said before, the pair entwined (Stella and Hayden) tell a simple yet beautiful love story. A story that is NOT based on misguided teenage emotions like lust and popularity but instead faith, self-discovery and genuine compassion for someone else’s circumstances and heart. In short, it made for an interesting read.
It’s not a fast paced novel, but it is an easy one quick on. (Tapping out at a little over 300 pages.) And even though I believe there is an older niche (aka: adults) that would enjoy this novel, I feel that younger audiences might benefit more from the lesson found between its pages.
Sarah Dessen fans need apply, everyone else…I recommend sampling before buying.
Happy Reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: “Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.” – Khalil Gibran