Waking up on a cold winter's morning, after a snowfall, and the streets are eerily quiet. Snowfall always seems to create an uneasy, sometimes sombre atmosphere, invading our structured world and our cosy existence. White snowy panoramic pictures have been used to great effect in the past in such bestsellers as The Shining by Stephen King, The Snowman by Jo Nesbo, Snowblind by Ragnar Jonasson (although all Nordic crime could probably be included) and not forgetting the excellent Snowblind by Michael McBride and the hauntingly alluring Travelling in a Strange Land by Irish author David Park.
The title "The Silent Land" by Graham Joyce instantly creates for the reader a bare and deserted landscape..."There wasn't a track anywhere to be seen in the light, powdery snow. The grey pregnant clouds loured above them, but there were blue smudges in the sky. A transforming power had breathed over the land and turned it into a perfect wedding cake"..... Into this wintry scene steps Zoe and Jake enjoying themselves on a skiing holiday in the French Pyrenees when an avalanche, the dread of all skiers and climbers, strikes without warning and buries our two adventurers. They survive but on returning back to the ski village they discover a place devoid of any human contact, seemingly deserted, and each time they attempt to walk/ski out, strangely, they always return back to the same starting point. As time passes, and the hope of any rescue seems to fade, both are troubled by visions and dreams and soon they come to the realization that perhaps no one actually survived the avalanche.
Graham Joyce has written a beautifully balanced tale of two lovers facing an uncertain future knowing that having cheated death they do in fact remain in a very precarious position. The author has ample time to explore the lives of Zoe and Jake and in particular I enjoyed the scene with Jake's father Peter suffering from bone cancer and cruelly beginning to lose his mind..."And yet now that he saw his father lying on the hospital bed he wanted to hug him. This father who suddenly, inexplicably and contrary to a lifetime of restraint had started swearing"......This short novel contains many surprises which thankfully I have not disclosed, a story that could and should be read in one sitting, preferably on a cold winters night with all doors securely locked and only a roaring log fire and a tumbler of hot whisky for company!....highly recommended
Sam and his friends are like any normal gang of normal young boys--roaming wild around the outskirts of their car-factory town, daring adults to challenge their freedom; then one day Sam wakes to find the tooth fairy sitting on the edge of his bed--but this is not the benign figure of childhood myth. This is an enigmatic presence that both torments and seduces him, changing his life forever.
This is such a beautiful book. I know this feeling I felt it when I read the Lovely bones. It's not quite the same feeling though. I feel I've lost some friends almost. "The heads looked at the gang." there are chapters in this book where the author takes you on a journey. Of childhood, adolescence and dark childhood terror's and dreams All this seems to revolve around "Sam's" the main character in the story personal experiences, sexual awakenings and frustrations. And his best friends too. are main play And I haven't even begun about the actual main character the tooth fairy. Or the crazy adventures in the woods near the lake :p
I'm honestly left with so many feelings towards this book there were times I bit my lip. The times I laughed out loud. I'm going carry this book around with me for a while.
I'm not giving anything away with this book. You have to read it yourself! And I highly recommend you do as it's a truly beautiful book.