It's 1997, and in a basement flat in Hackney, Isla Green is awakened by a call in the middle of the night: her father phoning from Sydney. Thirty years ago, the Greens' next-door neighbor Mandy disappeared. Isla's father Joe was allegedly the last person to see her alive, and now he's under suspicion of murder. Could her father be capable of doing something terrible?
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.