I first read 'The Silent Land' back in June as an early reading copy yet in spite of all the books I have read since this story has remained with me, the mark of a great book in my opinion. The plot is reminiscent of the series 'The Twilight Zone'; while on a skiing holiday in the Pyrenes Zoe and Jake are caught in an early morning avalance, from which it would appear that they should not have survived; but they do. Returning to the village they find it deserted, after a few days they decide to try to leave but find out they can't, however they try to leave, skiing or by car they keep ending back at the village. Are they alive, dead, or somewhere inbetween? This is the mystery they and the reader have to solve.
The title 'The Silent Land', comes from the famous poem 'Remember' by Christina Georgina Rossetti, which is quoted at the front of the novel; therefore it gives nothing away to say that this story is about death. It is also a poignant, supernatural love story, but not at all sentimental. The main, and for the most part only characters are Zoe, Jake and the beautiful snowy landscape that surrounds them and by the end of the book I felt that I really knew these people and cared about them. I can't deny that this book is sad, but it also has humour and ultimately left me with a tear in my eye and a smile on my face.
A book for anyone who really likes to get to grips with the characters and for those who like strange supernatural tales. The plot may not feel 'original' but the execution brings something new to it. A perfect Winter read, curl up by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoy.