epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Review: After The Silence

After The Silence by Louise O'Neill

From the author of 'Only Ever Yours' comes this tale of how 10 years ago the dead body of Nessa Crowley was found in the garden of Henry and Keelin Kinsella's big house after a wild riotous assembly party. Who killed Nessa has been a mystery ever since. But accusations about Henry have endured and Keelin is shunned as complicit.

Now a documentary crew have arrived determined to uncover who killed Nessa and so unfolds a tale of lies, blame and abuse. Keelin has significant isolation, uncertainty, fear and terrible loneliness. The death of Nessa damaged the public perception of the Kinsella family. Keelin does not weclome the documentary and her husband is visibly angry and shows scant regard.

The truth is dreadful and terrifying. Henry vigorously denied the charges. Henry is a street angel and house devil, he is all unpleasantness. Keelin is admonished for refusing to leave Henry after the awful incident. Henry keeps Keelin drugged and engages in coercive control and entrapment of his wife. Henry isn't a dear, affectionate husband but Keelin is so stupid and alienates all those who try to help her that you have no sympathy.

Henry has an unassailable belief in being right and Keelin has a paranoid disposition and an immense lack of judgement. Henry does adverse actions. People obsessively revisit the crime and Keelin hates the unwelcome emphasis on her family and has creeping, enduring, never ending fear. The writer uses the terms Channel Three and Irish Daily, none of which exist. There is an annoying use of Irish words. Who uses the term siopa? The victim Nessa is defied but she was a homewrecking slut

There is talk of cover up claims, ferocious anger and the Kinsella's protect their own. Keelin has unflinching devotion to Henry despite his obvious abuse. This was very good.

Best Lines:

“The woman she was not allowed to mention in her husband's presence.”

“Carnage of that relationship.”

“Waiting for this day to come.”

“Opinions for hire.”

“She did nothing. She was good at that.”

“No one watched television any more except for “Like, old people”,”

“You won't have to go outside these four walls ever again if you don't want to,”

“The thought of what leaving would entail-”

“People she had known since she was a child, staring at her with undisguised contempt.”

“You could only tell someone to leave so many times before you began to wonder why they're staying. Maybe it's what they want,”

“That was the beginning of it all, she would realise later, but by then, it was too late.”

“Threat befell them.”

“Incredulous at the victim's stupidity.”

“Was Keelin even allowed to feel uneasy about that?”

“He wouldn't be obliged to make conversation with her.”

“Felt the loss of her friend like a physical pain.”

“Do what he wanted with us,”

“No other man on Inisrun who would possess such clothes, let alone go outside where the neighbours could see them.”

“Nothing she couldn't forgive,”

“Diminishing figure on her bank statements.”

“How everyone had always been against him.”

“Peace between beatings.”

“Allowed use of her own credit card again,”

“Whenever, wherever, however he wanted.”

“Words that could not be unsaid.”

“Who might be there, what trouble they might have brought with them,”

“The man he considered his best friend from school, although Miles often gave the distinct air that he was only tolerating her husband until someone more amusing came along for him to play with.”

“Her husband had modelled himself on his friend but wasn't brave, or perhaps stupid enough to perform the imitation in front of him.”

“Nothing as gauche as a shop-bought fragrance for him.”

“Had promised he wouldn't do coke tonight, not with her son in the house,”

“I thought we'd moved past all that nonsense.”

“The only way she would be able to endure this night.”

“Wipe out all of humanity.”

“What she had promised him that night in the shadows.”

“Now it was lost to her.”

“Murdering bastard of a husband.”

“Shame felt corrosive and horribly familiar.”

“The same, boring tales being told over and over.”

“They will never come back.”

“Would do so with frightening ease.”

“Eternal disappointment.”

“Ruined with grief.”

“Therapy would require Alex to tell the truth, and none of them were allowed that luxury now.”

“One of the Crowley Girls had been murdered, and the man responsible was back on the island, refusing to leave.”

“None of this was normal.”

“Mould herself into whatever shape he needed to take that day.”

“Always conscious of where her husband was in the room at any given time,”

“Give herself a head start if she needed to run in the middle of the night.”

Tags: book review

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