If someone entered your home in the middle of the night and brutally murdered one of three children in the bedroom next to yours, you’d know. Wouldn’t you? You would hear them, sense them even. But that’s not the case here, because the child that was murdered while her two siblings slept next to her, was deaf. So are her siblings. And so are her parents.
The murder of Lexi shook the deaf community, and when Paige comes to the aid of the police with her role of interpreter, she suddenly finds that her life is in danger, as well as her sisters.
It takes many twists and dark turns before the mystery of who killed little Lexi comes to the surface, and everyone is a suspect. Right down to the smallest person you could imagine.
The Silent House was exceedingly well written and kept me hooked from beginning to end. Twice I thought I had it all figured out only to have the rug pulled out from under me! The tension was so real and everyone truly was a suspect. The characters were written strongly and the frustrations that those in the deaf community face every day were thrust in to the face of the reader, meaning that not only did you get a good dose of fiction BUT you also got to gleam some understanding of what it is like to face the world around you when you don’t have the use of all five of your senses.
As a person with a (luckily mild at present) hearing loss and numerous issues surrounding hearing, processing and ears, I really felt the frustrations of the hearing and non-hearing characters; it’s hard to be understood when you have so many important things to say and get them across, and it’s also hard to hear and process those things being said when you truly have a physical barrier. It’s also frightening to think that something like sleeping safely in your house can be so impacted when you have a hearing loss.
I loved the character of Paige and
I’ve read numerous reviews since I finished this book and it’s so frustrating to see those few negative reviews when they specifically mention the pace and dialogue; of course dialogue isn’t good when you’re writing deaf characters! Sign language is not the same dialogue as the spoken word and as there is no tone of voice to go with signs, the dialogue can seem to be missing key elements from those witnessing signed conversations. Another review said the characters seemed to have an on-off switch for when to be quiet and when to be scared; of course they do! Their sound level is minimal because most of the characters are deaf and unable to actually use spoken word!
Actually those review made me really cross if I’m being honest. Dialogue from a hearing loss point of view is difficult to understand when you’re fully hearing and difficult to explain when you’re hard of hearing. But I think the book was wi fearful and I really enjoyed it. I will most definitely be going on to read more of Pattison’s Paige Northwood books.
About the Author.
After studying English at university, Nell Pattison became a teacher and specialised in Deaf education. She has been teaching in the Deaf community for 13 years in both England and Scotland, working with students who use BSL. Nell began losing her hearing in her twenties, and now wears hearing aids. She lives in North Lincolnshire with her husband and son. The Deaf House is her debut novel and has been followed by two more surrounding the deaf community.