Disclaimer: I was given a complimentary copy of this book by HarperCollins Publishers Australia via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cate Carlton is dead but her ghost remains at the farm where she once lived, watching her loved ones as they grieve and eventually begin to heal.
In her debut novel Eliza Henry-Jones proves herself such a skilled writer that I felt a bit intimidated writing this review. From the premise this book sounded like the kind of depressing “women's fiction” (why is that even a thing?) that used to be on Oprah's book club, which is not really my cup of tea. However, it had been a while since I read a book by an Australian woman and Nina Kenwood from Readings book shop recommended itvery highly. I was pleasantly surprised that In the Quiet was neither depressing nor mawkish. It's a slow, contemplative story and the writing is beautifully evocative. It is sad, but not unrelentingly so.
I loved Laura's comments on motherhood, from the early days with newborn twins when she was swamped with visitors who made her want to “knock [herself] out with a brick”.
'They think they're being nice! They think it's a surprise! I don't know half of these people and,' my lip trembled, 'now they've seen all my bad undies hanging on the clothes horse!'
Each of the characters come to life with their own distinct personality and I found myself caring for them all. I may even have shed a tear or two for them.
Eliza Henry-Jones really captured the beauty of the setting of rural Victoria. The part about the horses might appeal more to “horsey” people, but it wasn't off-putting to someone like me who has barely even been near a horse in my life.
In The Quiet is a sweet, uplifting story about grief and family. I will be looking out for any future novels from this impressive new author.