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  • Location: Alaska

The Quality of Silence

The Quality of Silence

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: Fancy going on a death defying road trip to the cold, remote and chilling Alaskan landscape?

  • ISBN: 978-0349408125
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

Yasmin travels to the frozen wilderness of Alaska with her deaf daughter Ruby. They had to come – Ruby’s father, Yasmin’s photographer husband is missing presumed dead following a fire in the village where he was staying. Yasmin can’t believe he’s dead and so refuses to believe it so she had to find him.

But this place is not the most welcoming. It’s a place where the darkness can envelop you and confuse your sense of navigation, where the snow can hide where you have come from and where you are going, where the wind chill can be as sharp as a knife and where, in amongst the trees, a pair of eyes, watching and waiting, can go unnoticed.

Travel Guide

“Night will last for another fifty-four days.”

This is the land of silence, of snow, of remoteness and darkness and to search for someone everyone is telling you has died is not the most easiest of tasks.

“This cold is mean”

The atmosphere is one of chilling silence and foreboding. Haunting and eerie as you look for your husband and hope to find answers on where he is or how he died. A search for the truth.

“Dad says that up in the north of Alaska your tears can freeze”

The Silence is both in the Alaskan setting and in Ruby herself as she is deaf and so her world is always once of silence. Yasmin and Ruby’s journey is one of discovery for missing Matt, but also of each other as they only have each other for company a lot of the time and so their worlds blur and become one.

“Out here there were no days, no turning of the Earth to reach the face of the sun, but a dark night of the soul in which only violent storms broke time into different pieces”.

From the moment Yasmin and Ruby find out that Matt is missing, the road trip from hell is one of tension which builds and builds. There is a storm up ahead, here in this unforgiving landscape where weather and light control everything. Roads are dangerous, there is ice everywhere and nothing to guide them – but someone keeps watching from a distance.

This is a land of intrigue and culture too however – This is the home of the Inupiat people who live and respect their land but who are facing torment due to fracking. They communicate via language and sign language and silence to give light and shade to their dark yet very white world.  Ruby has a greater understanding of this world than most people.

As they try to make their way towards the truth, the Alaskan wilderness threatens to smother them, the truck drivers riding past the only signs of life so far.

The Ice road they call it, the path northwards….to the truth?


Take a look at the map featured on Rosamund’s website – haunting


Streetview Maps

1) Alaska - Deadhorse
4) Alaska - Dalton Highway
See the landscape that Ruby does

Booktrailer Review

Susan @thebooktrailer

Wow – from the setting to the world of silence to the reasons for a mother to take her deaf daughter to such a place, this is one chilling read. I felt every breath of wind on my face and started to read the shapes of words with Ruby as she feels the shapes of words and learns to read words in silence. Where anxiety resembles a chess board, sweaty and shivery. Words how they taste and act – in a world where sound is absent, these are firm and friendly markers to find your way around. I am fascinated by speech and speech therapy, language and the shapes of words and this was one fascinating and insightful journey. I feel privileged to have met Ruby.

The relationship between her and Yasmin was a multilayered but it was Ruby I was most captivated by – her understanding of the world and the Inuit people on their land. The story of searching for Matt was one thing but the story of Ruby and her quiet world was the one which left me speechless.


Booktrail Boarding Pass Information:


Facebook: /RosamundLuptonAuthor

Web: rosamundlupton.com

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