The Quiet and the Loud by Australian author Helena Fox is an emotional and unforgettable tale. It’s about being brave enough to be true to yourself and learning to discover joy even when times are unimaginably dark.
18-year-old Georgia (or George as she is mostly called) lives in Sydney, Australia with her mum Sara, stepmum Mel and her 84-year-old Gramps. Life in the house is noisy, her whole life has been noisy, there are so many demands from others and being pulled in different directions. At times she dreams of quiet.
Growing up with an alcoholic father life was not easy, when he left and moved to Seattle it caused George a great deal of unresolved trauma. She was lucky to have her best friend Tess and Laz in her life to talk to as her suffering lays dormant. But all that changes.
Tess is about to become a teen mum at 18 and relies heavily on George to be part of her parenting plan. Laz is in anguish over the impact of climate change and her estranged father won’t stop calling and texting saying he has bad news.
The writing is beautiful, featuring powerful and vivid descriptions that allow the reader to clearly imagine the scenes, the characters, and the action. It is well-paced, and Helena Fox has succeeded in getting the reader interested in following the incredible mix of characters. They’re all so different and yet best friends for life.
Their different traits complement each other so well to create an engrossing story and the clash in their personalities enhances the drama and thrill.
George is a very sympathetic character that readers will love to know better; she carries in all her pain to help others. You truly want to see her overcome her troubled life, which is fully explored and explained. How she overcomes depression, finds her voice, and stands up for herself is a lesson that will speak volumes to readers.
I loved the budding romance between George and Calliope, a Sri Lankan Australian. George found her easy to talk to and opens herself up to discover new interests and experiences. Therapy also plays a big part in the novel which helped the characters resolve personal issues and increase self-awareness with their mental health conditions.
It takes courage and resilience to write a book with such heavy subject matters used in the narrative with addiction, depression, emotional abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, domestic violence, and natural disasters. However, Helena also infuses themes of hope, love, and inner strength that leave you with a sense of optimism.
I feel the theme of The Quiet and the Loud is understanding yourself and who you are. We can get trapped in our own minds. Circumstances and demands force us to believe in the wrong things and to do the wrong things. No matter how bad it gets it’s important that we never give up on fighting the worst in ourselves.
A must-read for all ages who have struggled with mental health issues or suffered through abuse and have overcome challenges with the determination to create a life of meaning.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read and review.
A selection of our members are reading The Quiet and the Loud by Helena Fox. You can read their reviews in the comments below, or add your own thoughts.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.