Monday, April 30, 2007

Dead Silence - Brenda Novak

First of all I would like to say I'm really enjoying Novak's writing style, she keeps me entertained and wanting to know more. The thing is that this book is written from a victims point of view, we know from the beginning that Grace was a victim of her stepfather (I was guessing right away at sexual abuse) and that that trigered her behaviour in high school leading her to be a victim then and now of some boys who never grew up.

I always have some trouble reading books / scenes where the characters are brought low, humiliated because I find them really upsetting. I'm sure this is a great plot device to keep people reading but it's also why I don't watch horror movies - I'm always anticipating the bad things - I kept waiting for someone to come to Grace's door and insult her.

Grace and her family are hiding from everyone that they killed her stepfather 18 years ago. They are hiding it even from her stepsister who keeps trying to find what happened to her father. Grace's return to Stillwater after 13 years is going to open up a lot of wounds and bring past horrors to light.

One of the things that puzzled me was Grace's dislike of Kennedy Archer. Wouldn't it be more obvious to hate the guys who used her and kept insulting her than the guy who did nothing but also didn't use her? And what made Kennedy keep feeling guilty if he didn't do anything? I could understand about wanting to have a non belligerant relationship because of Teddy but it's like he was immediately worrying and lusting after her as soon as she got back. And how come it took him so long to see that Joe was a real jerk?

It still made for a captivating read as the reader is kept in suspense about wether Madeline is going to discover the truth, Joe is going to hurt Grace, Kennedy and Grace will marry and what really happened all those years ago. Since this is a trilogy I guess the answer to the last question will only come up in book 3. A B-


  1. I always have some trouble reading books / scenes where the characters are brought low, humiliated because I find them really upsetting.

    Interesting that you say this, because that's exactly how I felt while reading another of her books, A Husband of Her Own. It probably wasn't as bad as this, because it was just that everyone treated the heroine badly, not really victimizing her, but I was too upset by the unfairness of it all to enjoy the book.

  2. I haven't read that one you mention but another book where I had similar feelings was in SEP's Aint She Sweet. Although Sugar beth did have a mean streek when she was younger I think most of that behaviour was due to her father's attitude towards his daughters.


I love to chat about books and stuff and I would love to hear from like minded readers. Please do leave me a comment :-)


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