Emotionally spry, smartly suspenseful, Allott’s arresting debut novel vibrates with Hitchcockian atmosphere as she dexterously deflects suspicion through multiple narratives that expose individual and societal vulnerabilities. Readers who enjoy subdued, yet intense stories will cheer Allott’s whipsaw parries as she sows doubt across the decades.
Told in poignant vignettes alternating between 1967 and 1997, The Silence takes readers into the middle of two families struggling to survive their mistakes and longings, while also educating readers about Australia’s immoral mission to integrate Aboriginal children into “prosperous and moral” Anglo society ... compels readers to consider what it takes for family members to forgive each other, and whether an entire group of people can pardon a nation for stealing their future.
Newcomer Allott does a solid job of establishing a vivid sense of place. The mystery behind Mandy’s disappearance is appealing at first, but the unveiling of the puzzle doesn’t allow the plot to quite reach its potential. A supplemental book for mystery collections.
... solid if gloomy ... Allot does a good job building tension, but what happened to Mandy will surprise few readers. This one’s for mystery fans who prefer in-depth character studies to action-driven plots.