Mother. Martyr. Murderer.
On Emilia Morris’s thirteenth birthday, her mother Rachel moves into a tent at the bottom of their garden. From that day on, she never says another word.
Inspired by Rachel’s example, other women join her and together they build the Community. Eight years later, Rachel and thousands of her followers shock the world as they silence themselves forever.
In the aftermath of what comes to be known as the Event, the Community’s global influence quickly grows. As a result, the whole world has an opinion about Rachel – whether they see her as a callous monster or a heroic martyr – but Emilia has never voiced hers publicly. Until now.
My thoughts on The Silence Project
Nowadays, it feels like you can’t open up a magazine or scroll through your social media feed without finding someone telling you the best way to live your life or looking to start a movement. There are endless posts about how we can have an impact on the world around us by speaking up – or, as Rachel Morris would no doubt be pleased to hear – listening to what others have to say.
When Rachel decided to stop speaking and start listening social media wasn’t a ‘thing’ so her message wasn’t crowded out by a million other voices. And it didn’t spread around the world in a click. As her daughter Emilia explains, the fact that her mother stopped speaking didn’t matter to many people at first other than her and her dad.
It was only later, when the press got hold of the story and word spread that all their lives changed for ever. Emilia lost her mom. The world gained The Community. Women stopped speaking and people took notice. For Rachel, though, getting noticed wasn’t enough. She wanted change. And so came the Event.
The Silence Project moves before and after the event. Told from Emilia’s point of view as a young girl lost without her mother – angry and scared – and a young woman who embraces the Community in the hope of finding herself. After years of hiding from who she is, and who her mother was, she has decided to tell her story.
I listened to this book, rather than reading it. I found it compelling. The narration was spot on and the story kept driving forward with hints of what was to come (both good and bad) that meant I couldn’t stop listening. I found Emilia interesting and engaging and very real. I found Rachel compelling and complicated and tragic.
Nothing in this book was what I expected on checking it out and – even though it’s been weeks since I finished it – I can’t stop thinking about it and mentioning it others. This is a great book. A five star read. Highly recommended.
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