This Australian novel is in the mould of Alice Sebold's best seller The Lovely Bones – whereby the main character narrates the story following their own death, observing helplessly as their loved ones try to come to terms with their loss. In this case, Cate Carlton was a mother of three, who died just before her 40th birthday – for many in our book group, her circumstances were very close to home, and thus it was quite an emotional, confronting read.
The novel moved slowly, gradually revealing the different ways that Cate’s husband, sister, best friend, and three children processed their grief – and finally, how their lives moved on. True to its title, it was a quiet, reflective novel, set appropriately in rural Victoria. This is a good example of a book that requires the reader to be ‘in the right mood’ – for some book clubbers, it was too slow; for others, too sad; and for some, a beautiful, reflective read. Personally, I couldn’t help but compare it to Lovely Bones – and found In the Quiet a bit too slow, lacking the suspenseful ‘whodunnit’ element of Lovely Bones.
Book Clubber's home 'for some quiet'
As mothers, this book touched us all and left us feeling quiet. It was fitting to meet at a book clubber's home, sitting on the couch with cups of tea and cake to discuss this very emotional and heart tugging read.