THE SILENT TREATMENT
Frank has not spoken a word to his wife in 6 months, so will Maggie trying to take her own life spur Frank on to reveal what he has not been able to say for all of this time?
The Silent Treatment was a surprising heart-breaking read for me. I was expecting a thriller type story – a dark and hidden family secret to be revealed but instead we got the story of a relationship; it’s origins, the marriage and the trials of parenthood. The book deals with some very hard-hitting issues (which I can’t really mention for spoilers) which are dealt with in a confident and sensitive way by author Abbie Greaves. Maggie and Frank are really well-detailed characters; we start out getting the relationship early years story from Frank’s perspective and then the latter half of the book switched between Maggie and Frank as narrators. It’s a sad story and one that is very well told – we get invested in these characters and we feel empathy for their sorrow.
My only criticism would be that as a plot it can be a bit contrived and convenient at times. There is a diary read at one point that takes far too long in the timeline to read, whereas if I was the character reading it, I would take an hour or two and read it all in one go. The diary also doesn’t feel like it’s written by the person who is supposed to have written it – it doesn’t really have the right narrative voice and the ‘tasks’ she asks Frank to do just seems very unrealistic.
Overall, The Silent Treatment is a heart-breaking read but perhaps one it’s best not to look at too closely. Thank you to NetGalley, Random House UK – Century and Cornerstone for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.