The other side of silence ISBN: 9780140378030
- Hamish Hamilton, 1995
- Puffin, 1997 (ISBN: 9780140378030)
Hero has not spoken for three years except very occasionally to her older brother. Because she is bright and comes from a highly articulate family, she is aware that her self-imposed silence makes her important, even that she is manipulative. Her involvement with eccentric Miss Credence and her spooky old house comes close to ending in tragedy for Hero and Miss Credence's mentally handicapped daughter, whom she has kept locked in a tower for eighteen years. 'Real' life and 'true' life are juxtaposed in Hero's mind as well as Miss Credence's, and fairy tales form part of 'true'life. Hero realises that she is a writer, but that the 'real' story of Miss Credence's madness and ultimate suicide do not need to be used by her. Her very strong mother has been a manipulator too, and Hero will not have to accept that any longer. This is a dense story, an exciting thriller as well as a psychological tour de force. Vivid and forceful.