I was recently offered the opportunity to review The Silent Hours by Cesca Major for the BritMums Book Club and it looked just my sort of read and I couldn’t wait to get started when it arrived.
The Silent Hours is Cesca Major’s first novel and it grabbed me from the sort. We follow four characters through the book; from the early days of the Second World War through to 1952. The story is set in France and as the story unfolds the lives of the four become intertwined in a heart breaking tale of love, life and discrimination.
I was totally hooked, when I’m still awake in the early hours because I want to finish one more chapter, I know I’ve found a good book.
The main character is called Adeline and we find her in the St Cecilia nunnery in 1952. She is mute and has been since she arrived there during the war. Why is she there? What happened that was so awful that she can no longer speak. You want to know about this woman and what she’s been through.
We also meet a young Jewish man called Sebastien, he lives in Limoges with his family and works for his father in the family bank. Their lives are about to change forever. We follow his journey as he meets a young teacher called Isobel and they fall in love. She lives in a village with her parents who run a shop, her brother Paul joins the French army and we read their correspondence as he goes through training, heads to the front and ends up in a German work camp.
Then there is little Tristan, who escapes with his family from Paris to south-west France. He settles in well at school until a new boy joins who becomes the centre of attention, until one day, he just disappears.
The more you read The Silent Hours the more the pieces of the jigsaw come together and you slowly realise how these characters are linked. You want to follow their journeys. You want it to all end well. But I have to say that nothing prepared me for the climax of this story. I was in tears, even more so, when I read the Historical Note at the end and discovered that the story was based on an event from that corner of South West France in 1944.
I’ve been lucky enough to read some great books recently and The Silent Hours is right up there. I can thoroughly recommend and I can’t wait to see what Cesca Major delivers next. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below if you want to read it for yourself.
disclaimer: we were sent this book as part of the BritMums Book Club, my thoughts remain my own honest opinion