The Silence Project

The Silence Project by Carole Hailey

Posted by Nyerhovwo on June 12, 2024

On her thirteenth birthday, Emilia’s mother, Rachel of Chalkham, stops speaking. Inspired by her vow of silence, others joined Rachel and built the Community. Eight years later, Rachel, alongside others, burned themselves to death.

Emilia’s mother’s legacy, the Community, now grows to global proportions with far-reaching powers. After several years of keeping silent, Emilia decides to reveal the sinister purposes of the Community in a memoir titled ‘The Silence Project.’

Thoughts

I enjoyed the style in which The Silence Project was written. It is written as an actual memoir; in other words, it is a book in a book. This made for an exciting read, especially at the beginning, where it seemed like I was reading about some famous person in some alternate dystopian future who founded an organization – neither political nor religious – with a fierce following around the world and tremendous and overt power.

What added to this ambiance were the several real-life events that intersperse the storyline, along with references and footnotes containing information, including website links to news articles.

The first hundred pages are a sort of prequel, a beginning of the Community as it was detailing Rachel and the events before she burned herself to death. This part of the novel, combined with the real-life events vibes of the book, makes for some fast-paced reading.

The next hundred slowed down the book as it turned towards Emilia and what she did after her mother’s death. I didn’t enjoy this part and felt some of the scenes here were unnecessary. The rest of the novel catches up to the present.

It was satisfying but felt like a weak finish, especially considering the way it started. All in all, The Silence Project is a novel with bold aspirations. It meets some of those but falls short in other ways.

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