Genre: Psychological fiction, Suspense

Hey there, fellow maniacs!

Firstly, can we just take a minute to realize how fast time flies? Can you believe, it’s September already! With boredom being my constant companion, I made a list of books I’ll be reading this month. (Check my Instagram page to know what they are! Self-promo again, haha!).

The first book I finished this month is “The Silent Child” by Sarah A Denzil. Let’s review this now!

The story begins with a 24-year-old Emma being worried about her son, who is stuck at school during a heavy rain. With the threat of the river breaking out and its proximity to the school, Emma walks from her house to the school only to reach there and find that her 6-year-old son, Aiden, is missing. Despite relentless searching, they never found his body. People assume that young Aiden got carried away by the water. Indeed, a tragedy. This separates Emma and her husband, a person who’s support she needed the most at the time. A few years later, her parents die too, leaving Emma alone to deal with the grief.

Fast forward to about 10 years from then. Emma has a new life, a new husband and a yet-to-be-born daughter. It finally seems like life is becoming better for Emma.

SPOILER ALERT! Time for the plot twist. (Meh, not really though).

Guess who comes back to his mom after disappearing for 10 years? Yes, you are absolutely right. It’s Aiden! Aiden is too traumatized to speak.  From his body, two things become pretty evident. One, life has not been easy for him either. Two, he did not drown that day. He was kidnapped, and horrible things were done to him.

Emma needs answers. So do we. Aiden can’t speak. Emma has to find out what happened to her son, keeping her presently beautiful life on stake. Will she do it? Will we know what happened to Aiden? Will the silent child break his silence? Read to find out!

Highlights of the book:

The writing was undeniably remarkable. However, the story was very predictable. After reading the first 15-20 pages, the parts where Aiden disappears, the title of the book by itself made the story predictable. The story had emotions, but lacked the factor that built curiosity. The good writing was outweighed by an average-ish storyline. The story is written in Emma’s perspective, which hugely helps us connect with her plight and journey.

It had a very strong beginning, undoubtedly. Aiden’s return, Emma’s reactions to it and few other parts were exaggerated. Why so much drama? The only thing missing was some background score, the ones that we find in Indian soap operas, that’s all! THe drama was too much to bear.

The story also had a dark side. The entire narration, from Emma’s POV, felt oddly creepy, I don’t know why! Truth be told, I like dark novels.

The book did not do justice to the mystery. Why is it everything always about Emma?

The story was very close to a Tamil movie, “Penguin”, that I watched recently. It released this year though.

Quote I liked:

“People are multi-layered. Anyone can have a private side that verges on the dark and dangerous.”

How true! People and their shades are unforeseeable. What we see is what they show. But beyond everything, the real side either is hidden, or remains dormant. Reality is not always what we see.

Favorite character:

Emma, of course. No other character has a strong impact. The ordeals she chooses to go through shows how brave she is. The way she tries to reconnect with a troubled Aiden, the motherly love, is so strong. If you ask me who is the victim in this book, I would say it is Emma, but not Aiden.

Overall opinion: I wouldn’t recommend this novel. But the writing style did impress me. I would surely give her other books a try.

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