Review of THE SILENCE by Susan Allott

The historical guilt of a nation ravages the lives of two Australian families.

Silence isn’t always golden. It can also be “a cult of forgetfulness practiced on a national scale.” The Silence is a story about loneliness, longing, and forgiveness, a story about Australia’s atrocious kidnapping of Aboriginal children and its intergenerational corollaries.

When 35-year-old Isla Green answers her phone in London in the middle of the night, she is barely awake. Joe, her father in Sydney, tells her the police are questioning him about the disappearance of their next-door neighbor, Mandy Mallory, some 30 years ago. Isla knows she must go home.

There’s a reason Isla left Sydney for England. Her parents’ relationship has always been tenuous; full of bitterness and violence just under the skin. There were happy times during her childhood, but the bad times made a mark: Visions of bloodstained carpet occasionally pop into her mind.

Read the rest of my review at Washington Independent Review of Books.

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