My friend Daisy wrote a novel and it’s very good. Here’s my review.
Stella Wiseman was a child TV star, but there’s nothing glamorous about her life now. Alone in her thirties, she’s lost her parents and her friends and she’s stuck in a dead-end job. But just as she hits rock bottom she meets Marco, a charismatic older man who offers to get her back on her feet. He seems too good to be true.
*BEWARE, there may be unintentional spoilers ahead*
It’s taken me a bit of time to get to this review. I found the central relationship hard to stomach, based on my own experience and it really triggered some bad memories, something I really didn’t expect. Which proves Daisy’s depiction of gas-lighting is spot on.
These negative feelings didn’t take anything away from my enjoyment of the story though – in fact, The Silence is what they call a ‘total banger’ and I read it in one sitting.
Stella has recently met Marco and although he’s a little older than her, she likes the way he takes care of her. This is only exacerbated when her dad dies and she shuts down emotionally. Marco just wants his girlfriend to be alright and after she loses her job and has a falling out with her best friend, suggests a break in Cornwall, where Stella can recuperate at his family’s cottage on the cliffs.
Which sounds lovely but as Stella acclimatises to local life, she starts to have doubts about the man himself. What’s the deal, yo?
I’m awed by the author’s turn of phrase which really elevated the book in my eyes (and not just ‘cos I’m biased). While some of the plot pieces have been done before within this genre – for example, the isolated cottage setting – I feel Daisy was able to bring a freshness to it. I love the concept of amateur sleuthing so loved it when Stella got going, piecing together the mystery while getting to know the local characters. I really appreciated the details of the small village and I adore the chicken wrangling mother and daughter combo in particular.
Let’s not forget there’s another theme at play against the backdrop of Stella and Marco’s relationship – our protagonist was a famous child star and what does that do to you as you age and move further away from the world’s view of who you are? It doesn’t help that is seems like Stella’s being stalked again.
I got a Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? flavour towards the end and that can only ever be a good thing and I recommend this to any one with a penchant for the female-driven thriller.
Daisy, I’m beyond proud of you and this wonderful achievement, I can’t wait for your next book.