5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Islands of Silence (Hardcover)
"Islands of Silence", by Martin Booth is one of the finest books I have read in quite some time. This work has been compared to some classics in the genre and while in most instances this type of comparison is empty hyperbole, this work is remarkable and the comparisons are legitimate.
The irony, of the eventual role men who refused to inflict violence against their fellow man would play, is that they would often face the same dangers and peril and do so unarmed. The young man who is at the center of this novel becomes a stretcher bearer in the trenches of World War I, a locale that ranks as one of the most miserable man-made atrocities of History and Literature.
Prior to the war our protagonist is a young archeologist working amongst the Islands of Scotland in search of the history they hold. During his work he meets a young woman who is at once the victim of ignorance and cruelty while she enjoys her life without the benefit and burden of knowing how she came to her existence. She represents an enigma that the author places at the center of Alec's life. As a result of his wartime experiences Alec chooses to remain mute, voluntarily adopting as a defense the same characteristic his island friend had thrust upon her.
Mr. Booth writes beautifully even when his prose takes on brutality that reminded me of Steinbeck. Like the author I mention he can take a placid afternoon moment, and in an instant shatter it and the persons unfortunate enough to be present. "Islands of Silence", is a wonderful work, enjoy.