A lifetime of love. Six months of silence. One last chance.
Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.
For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.
Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet, but it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.
Is this where their story ends?
Or is it where it begins?
With characters that will capture your heart, THE SILENT TREATMENT celebrates the phenomenal power of love and the importance of leaving nothing unsaid.
This is going to be a very difficult review to write without giving too much away but I shall try my best.
Let’s start with the characters Frank and Maggie. Frank, quiet, reserved, a man of few words, all the common traits of an academic.
Maggie, outgoing, vivacious, almost the complete opposite of Frank. Together they were invincible, close knit and totally and utterly in love until that is they stopped talking for 6 months.
Why? That was something we didn’t find out until the end as Greaves delved into their back story, their meeting, their marriage and all the ups and downs that came with it. Their connection was so close but it wasn’t until a traumatic event that threatened to rip them apart that you realised that actually, they were fathoms apart, their true feelings hidden beneath a secret.
Greaves used Frank as her main voice and what a voice it was. A man who examined every part of his life, his regrets, but also the joy, and the sheer deep love he felt for Maggie. Greaves beautifully captured those emotions, from their first meeting, a hurried marriage to the tragic events that followed. Here was a man adrift, unable to verbalise his feelings, to communicate with his wife, almost alienating himself from her and the rest of the world.
You could sense his desperation, his total despair, as he truly believed he had lost everything he ever had, but it was that desperation, the intervention of a stranger that finally nudged him to open up. As his story unfolded you felt empathy and frustrations, not only with Frank, but also Maggie, as they each made assumptions of the other, scared to almost open up, afraid of what might happen if they did.
When Maggie’s voice finally broke through, Greaves gave you an alternative view, a woman who dearly loved her husband, but had regrets, hid her own secrets. You wanted to bash their heads together, open up, to communicate, make it right and get back to living rather than just existing.
As the story unfolded, Greaves’s narrative became more urgent, time appeared to be running out. A picture emerged of the void within their lives, of the hurt and tragedy they had to live with , before finally, their secret emerged. It wasn’t earth shattering, and I don’t think that was the point to Greaves’s story, it was a tool to show the complexities we often face within relationships, the damage silence could play in tearing people apart, no matter how old you are.
Would they find their way back to one another or would all be lost?
The Silent Treatment was filled with emotion and tenderness, of love and grief , the writing outstanding and so hard to believe this was Abbie Greaves’s debut novel.
I would like to thank Arrow Publishing for a copy of The Silent Treatment to read and review and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour
About the author
Abbie Greaves studied at Cambridge University before working in a literary agency for a number of years. She was inspired to write her first novel, The Silent Treatment, after reading a newspaper article about a boy in Japan who had never seen his parents speak to one another before. Abbie lives in Edinburgh with her boyfriend and is hard at work on her follow-up novel, The Ends of the Earth.