The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves – Book Review

Title: The Silent Treatment (review copy)

Author: Abbie Greaves

Genre/Themes/Content Warnings: Contemporary, Long term relationship, marriage, emotional drama, Sexual assault, self harm, overdose, infertility, postpartum depression

Blurb from Goodreads

A lifetime together. Six months of silence. One last chance.

Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.

For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.

Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet.

But it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.

Is this where their story ends?

Or is it where it begins?

My Review

Do you ever feel like you’re just the wrong reader for a book? That for some reason a perfectly well written book with an interesting plot just doesn’t appeal to you.

That’s what has happened to me with The Silent Treatment.

There are no real reasons why I didn’t enjoy this book as I should have. I think it’s purely down to very personal reasons. I just felt very alienated from the world of these characters as what they were experiencing was something too removed from my own life.

The story opens with Frank discovering his wife Maggie unconscious. She is brought to the hospital but remains in a coma. A kindly nurse encourages Frank to talk to his wife because there may be a limit on the time he has left with her and he should say whatever it is he needs to say to her.

It is then revealed that Frank has in fact not spoken to Maggie in six months and through his retelling of their life story together and trying to explain his reasoning for his silence we slowly piece together why these two have had this wedge between them.

The story is very moving. There is a lot to praise with regard to the level of detail built into the novel with regards to making all the characters seem incredibly authentic… But I was not a fan of the teasing nature of the narrative as it slowly revealed what had happened between the couple. Just as Frank was about to reveal his secret to Maggie the book decided to change the perspective from first person to an omniscient style narrator and I really didn’t like this. It felt too melodramatic for my taste and I was frustrated at having to see the story of this couple from another perspective. I found a lot of the plot to also be too melodramatic; I wished that some of the events that had happened to the couple had been edited out as I felt it was a little too *overkill* and would have preferred a *less is more* mindset for the storyline.

However, I know there are many more readers that would happily have revelled in this book’s slow revealing and highly emotional plot as truly this is well written for the style of novel it is. It simply is not a style that is to my taste.

*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

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6 thoughts on “The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves – Book Review

  1. I’ve had a similar experience with novels before, when they’re not to your taste but are still essentially ‘good’ for the right reader. I’m not a fan of books that change tense to add extra drama though. Keep it consistent and I’ll be there cheering on 😀 Great review Emer!

    Liked by 1 person

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