Emma, a young mother, is devastated when her son drowns during a terrible flood. His body is never recovered and Emma is consumed with grief. Ten years later, Emma has adjusted to a new life; she is married, pregnant and feels at peace. Until, suddenly, Aidan returns. He cannot speak, he cannot tell anyone where he has been for the past ten years; his body tells a story of abuse. Emma, her life turned upside down, begins to try and reconnect with her teenage son and uncover the truth surrounding his disappearance.
I started this novel in the midst of a book slump. Turns out the cure for such a slump is this book!
Silent Child, by Sarah A. Denzil, was a wild ride. Dark, unsettling and fast-paced, this novel gets under your skin and settles there. I was completely consumed by the story. I was unable to put this one down.
The novel opens, reliving the disappearance of Aidan. Even though I knew this was going to happen, my heart ached and I spent the first section cringing as I watched the devastation unfold on the pages. I didn’t read this story. I felt this story.
The rest of the novel unfolds and is narrated, for the most part, by grief stricken Emma as she grieves for the son that she lost and then the lost years she could have had when Aidan turns up. Emma leads the reader on a journey filled with twists and red herrings; her narration jumps around as she frantically searches for answers. Denzil does a brilliant job at portraying the ferocity of a mother’s love and the desperation of loss.
I also loved the characterization of the secondary characters; from the new husband to Emma’s lost love and Aidan’s father, Denzil leaves no stone unturned. I felt like each character added such depth to the plot and I was hesitant to trust anyone.
Well-written and suspenseful, I felt like this one read like a dark version of Emma Donoghue’s Room. Fans of the psychological thriller genre will be completely sucked into this story; I’m rating this one a 5/5 stars.
Thanks so much to the author for a digital copy of this book; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.