The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves
Publishing Date: 2nd April 2020
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 336
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
| Paperback (out on 17.09.2019)
A lifetime together. Six months of silence. One last chance.
Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.
For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.
Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet.
But it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.
Is this where their story ends?
Or is it where it begins?
With characters that will capture your heart, THE SILENT TREATMENT celebrates the phenomenal power of love and the importance of leaving nothing unsaid.
Frank and Maggie have been happily married for forty years, getting by all the bumps and twists that reality put in their way – and there were plenty of them. However, it seems that now they have hit a wall – Franks hasn’t spoken to Maggie for six months. Why? Maggie can’t take it anymore and one day Frank finds her slumped over the kitchen table after swallowing the contents of a bottle of sleeping tablets. He blames himself and is desperate to explain to Maggie why he hasn’t uttered one word to her in the last half year. Encouraged by a nurse at the hospital, Frank starts to speak – is there enough time for him to tell everything?
It is a beautifully written story, both plot – wise and writing style – wise. The narration flowed so naturally, it didn’t feel forced, it just felt so normal and human and the writing is almost lyrical, so very evocative and vivid it is. The author has a way with words, her narration is touching, poignant yet uplifting and flowing effortlessly, keeping you glued to the pages.
I would say that it is a very character driven story, and they all were really well written and developed, as well as the relationships and dynamics between them – and they were never the easiest ones. Their feelings and emotions were effortlessly brought to us on the pages.
Maggie and Frank’s voices are strong and distinctive. During Maggie’s stay at the hospital we learn everything about their life together, starting with the early days of their relationship and their struggle to have a child of their own. I have expected – probably like many of you reading the book – that they had a fight, that there must have been an understatement between them and this is why they live in silence, but the truth is much more shocking and heart – breaking. The story of them is unique, full of memories, anecdotes and thoughts and there emerges a picture of people committed to each other, loving each other and caring about each other.
I must admit that the epilogue confused me a bit – probably because the author has suddenly decided to use the third narrator, so out of the blue and only for the few pages of the epilogue. Somehow it didn’t sit with me so well, not sure why, but it didn’t fit the whole story.
The story explores marriage, parenting and more difficult issues in a gentle, understanding way, showing how hard it sometimes is to communicate with our closest ones and how secrets kept from each other may affect our relationships – but we still keep them, out of fear as we don’t want to hurt them, out of love.
It is a powerful and moving book, so very honestly touching upon many heavier issues, bringing the small family to life, creating them all believable and full of flaws. It is emotional, poignant and uplifting at the same time. It is a great debut novel and the author shows her strong voice – I am already looking forward to her next release. Highly recommended.
FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR: