Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Review: Silenced by Simon Packham

Publication Date: 12 June 2012

Publisher: Picadilly Press 

Source: Borrowed from Library

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Blurb : 

At first I thought there were technical problems – something wrong with the sound system – because when I opened my mouth I couldn’t hear a thing. But it was more serious than that . . . I was completely dumb.

Chris loses the power of speech completely when his best friend dies in a car crash. Why? What terrible secret is he hiding? And can he find his voice before it’s too late?

After having read and really enjoyed Packhams novel Only We Know, I was happy to find another novel by him at my local library. 

Silenced was a short read at a little shy of 200 pages, but I was an enjoyable one. 

The novel touches on a lot of important issues from mental health, grief and friendship. In this novel our protagonist Chris who becomes mute after the sudden death of his best friend Declan. Packham handles the subject of Chris's mental health and reaction to Declans death very well and carries the theme in a realistic manner throughout the novel. 

Although the novel does deal frankly with death, grief and mental health issues, there is a lot of humour and fun scenes in the novel. I enjoyed reading about Chris's new friendships that he forms in the novel. 

I enjoyed the plot of the novel, yet although I was entertained by the mystery of why Chris refused to speak, toward the latter end of the novel I began to lose interest in the mystery. I felt that the last 60 pages of the novel and the plot were somewhat rushed and boring. I feel that I lost interest in the ending which may have been due to the predictability of the mystery element. 

Overall a quick, easy read that deals with heavy topics well and in an honest way. 

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