The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton
Published by Little, Brown
2nd July 2015
Within hours they are driving alone across a frozen wilderness
Where nothing grows
Where no one lives
Where tears freeze
And night will last for another fifty-four days.
They are looking for Ruby's father.
Travelling deeper into a silent land.
They still cannot find him.
And someone is watching them in the dark.
Having had an argument with her husband Matt, Yasmin and her daughter Ruby, set out to Alaska to issue an ultimatum to him where he is working on a project as a wildlife photographer. When they arrive however, he is not there to greet them, and instead they are met by the local police force. It appears that there has been a massive explosion where he was based, and whilst they haven't been able to identify any of the bodies yet, his wedding ring has been found amongst the remains. Yasmin refuses to believe what she is told though, and decides that as no one else will take her insistence that he is still alive seriously, the only thing she can do is try and find him herself. She takes Ruby, who is deaf, and attempts to cross Alaska to find him.
This may sound extreme but actually in that exact situation, many people would probably do the same thing. What they may not do though is to borrow a huge trucker lorry and attempt to drive it across the icy roads of Alaska by themselves! It was like a non-visual episode of Ice Road Truckers and you could feel every twist and turn of these highly dangerous roads as Yasmin attempts to navigate her way across the country, persued by an unidentified trucker that seems to be scarily following them every step of the way. You can actually follow their journey via this interactive map
There is a lot of tension in this book that runs right through to the end of the novel, but there is a lot of camaraderie too - especially between the other truckers on the roads and in their support of Yasmin as she drives perilously across this remote part of America. Her bond with Ruby grows as they attempt to find Matt. The story is written from both Yasmin and Ruby's perpectives, and I though that the concept of Ruby's deafness added to the story because it highlighted just what she was and wasn't aware of due to her lack of hearing. Rosamund Lupton also highlights the serious issue of fracking in the book, and whilst it isn't a political novel per se, it does bring to the forefront of your mind just how serious an issue this it.
It's another winner from the author of Sister and Afterwards for me.