Author: Cesca Major
Published: June 4th 2015 by Corvus
Amazon | Amazon UK
Blurb: An epic, sweeping tale of love and loss inspired by heartrending true events in the Unoccupied Zone of wartime France.
The Silent Hours follows three people whose lives are bound together, before war tears them apart:
Adeline, a mute who takes refuge in a convent, haunted by memories of her past;
Sebastian, a young Jewish banker whose love for the beautiful Isabelle will change the course of his life dramatically;
Tristin, a nine-year-old boy, whose family moves from Paris to settle in a village that is seemingly untouched by war.
Beautifully wrought, utterly compelling and with a shocking true story at its core, The Silent Hours is an unforgettable portrayal of love and loss.
Review: There are books that tell stories and there are some rare ones that actually make you part of the story they tell. The Silent Hours is one of those rare books. Before I started reading it, I had heard great praise for Cesca Major's debut but nothing had prepared me for the greatness of it and all the emotions, laughs, tears and goosebumps it provoked on me.
The Silent Hours tells the story of three people during the war and after it. Their stories seem quite random at the beginning but as they unfold and more characters appear, they start, almost magically, entwining to end up being a unique beautiful story, told from various points of view.
All the characters playing a role in this story are so well developed and every one of them has such a unique voice. Sometimes two characters describe the same scene but when you read their versions of the same event it's like you are seeing it in a whole new light. They all add their own personal spark and you end up having a colourful and detailed image of what is happening. I think that Cesca's capacity of making you see and picture what you are reading so easily is a rare ability that makes this novel one in a kind.
With a simple but beautiful writing, Cesca tells us a story and teaches us a wonderful history lesson too. The story in The Silent Hours is tragic but beautiful, unfair but hopeful and especially moving. But it only reflects what could have happened in real life. She based the core of her novel in a real historical event, that shows how cruel and meaningless wars can be. And from there, she created this powerful tale, telling the story of those who couldn't share theirs.
The Silent Hours will be, without a doubt, one of the books of the year. I hope it touches many lives as it one of those books that changes you a bit and stays with you for a very long time.