Thursday, 11 August 2011

Book Review: THE SILENT LAND BY GRAHAM JOYCE

Genre:  Psychological Fiction
Published by:  Doubleday
Pages:  262  (Hardback)
Source:  Publishers
My Rating:  8.5/10

About the book:

In the French Pyrenees, a young married couple is buried under a flash avalanche while skiing. Miraculously, Jake and Zoe dig their way out from under the snow—only to discover the world they knew has been overtaken by an eerie and absolute silence.
Their hotel is devoid of another living soul. Cell phones and land lines are cut off. An evacuation as sudden and thorough as this leaves Jake and Zoe to face a terrifying situation alone. They are trapped by the storm, completely isolated, with another catastrophic avalanche threatening to bury them alive . . . again. And as the couple begin to witness unset­tling events neither one can ignore, they are forced to con­front a frightening truth about the silent land they now inhabit.



The one word that describes this book is ‘eerie’.  The atmosphere, the situation the two people find themselves in, the deserted town and the visions that seemingly only Zoe can see are haunting and mysterious.

They try to drive out of town but the car breaks down, they try to walk away but end up on the same road that brings them back to the town, they ski over the mountain but, again, they find themselves back to the same familiar buildings.

“It’s almost like something is keeping us here in this village.” Zoe said, looking around her.  “Like something doesn’t want to let us go.”

Zoe and Jake are a happily married couple who have been together for 10 years and their love for each other is apparent in the tender way they watch out for each other, constantly reassuring each other that everything will be okay, while keeping their thoughts to themselves that it may not be.

They can walk into any of the shops and take whatever they want, including designer shoes and clothes but there seems little point when there’s no-one to show off to.


Candles don’t burn down, food stays fresh, Zoe has the same recurring vision of the hotel lobby full of people but when she looks again they’re gone, they felt as though they’d been living there for weeks but it was only a couple of days …... what and where is this place?

I was totally immersed in the story of this young couple who are desperate to know what’s happening but are powerless to do anything, and I felt such sympathy and desperation for them I really wanted there to be a happy ending.  


There are just a handful of books I’ve read that have stayed with me long after I’ve moved on and I think that this will be one of them.

Special Thanks to the publishers for sending me this book to review.

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