Challenge: 2012 Canadian Reading Challenge
In the backwoods of Nova Scotia, a man slowly withdraws himself from the world. He fills his days with planting a garden. Building a cabin. Carving out friendships. Falling in love.
His nights are for storytelling. A saga of youthful passions, of idealism and hope, of science and rebellion.
Outside the forests, news reports trickle in. A worldwide catastrophe is brewing. People are frightened. Governments are in turmoil. The future is uncertain.
And as the story unfolds, we learn the consequences of believing we were ever ready to open Pandora’s Box.
Bold of theme, sensual of language, and astonishing in its implications,The Rest is Silence is a stunning achievement.
There’s a certain kind of book that scares the living daylight out of me. I’ve read dystopian books and post-apocalyptic books and I deal with them just fine, but it’s those books that deal more within the present day and with things that could actually happen that terrify me. Without a doubt, The Rest is Silence, by Canadian writer Scott Fotheringham, is one of those.
Admittedly, the book starts off slow. We meet the main character who lives in a tent, surrounded by trees. We’re never introduced to him in the beginning, but I really liked him as a narrator. But wait! Hold on! Don’t write this off as a story about a guy in the woods, struggling to survive because it’s so much MORE than that. We’re also introduced to the story of the past, a story that the narrator is telling his friend Art about, about a girl, Benny, who wants to become a scientist so she can rid the world of plastic.
The book takes place in Nova Scotia, where I’ve been lucky enough to travel to. Fotheringham writes the scenery beautifully, making me fall in love with the land. But in the same sense, he’s showing the reader such a horrible picture of mankind, about how we’ve mistreated the Earth to the point where there’s plastic everywhere that I shifted quite a few times in my seat, wondering just how many things in my life are made of plastic (read: EVERYTHING).
It’s quite astonishing to read a book about something that is so present in our every day life. While there’s not a crazy amount of action taking place in the novel, there’s enough tension to keep any reader interested. There’s also quite a few plot twists that kept me reading — even when I knew I’d be running late and had to put the book down! The characters are also wonderfully written and very believable. I will admit that sometimes the scientific jargon goes way over my head, but in no way does that diminish the enjoyment of reading this book.
I was lucky to get a copy of this book from the publisher to review — even though I put it off and put it off I was quite happy to finally dig into it! Once I finished, I wanted to go right back to the beginning and read it again. This is definitely a book that will stay with you — one you will think about for days after you finish reading. A great debut!
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