Top critical review
One person found this helpful
on 13 February 2013
I love a Victorian historical novel, and Mary Hooper is an author I enjoy very much. Sounding incredibly similar, this book really appealed to me.
The Quietness follows two girls from seemingly opposite ends of Victorian society. Ellen is the daughter of a prominent surgeon, while Queenie's drunken father sells fruit while he's on the wagon and her mother sells her body when he's fallen off to feed her children. What's interesting is that first appearances aren't always as they seem, and I was surprised by where my pity lay.
This is a pretty dark tale, covering subjects such as prostitution, rape and the horrific Victorian practice of baby farming. I found the dual narrative and short snappy chapters made this a fast paced, easy read which I finished in a couple of sittings. However, I found it a bit predictable, if I'm honest, and the characters quite clichéd and stereotypical. I was particularly disappointed in Queenie's character, and she didn't gain my sympathy or understanding the way she should have. I guessed the major twist very early on, however there was another thrown in right at the end which did leave me reeling.
I wanted to love this book more than I actually did. That's not to say it's a bad book, it's not at all and the author certainly shows promise and will be one I look out for in the future.