SILENT NOON by TRILBY KENT.
September 1953. Fourteen-year-old Barney Holland is promised a fresh start when he is offered a place at a boarding school on the remote North Sea island of Lindsey. Instead, he is shunned by his peers both for his status as a charity pupil and for being the replacement of a recently deceased student, the popular Cray. The arrival of Belinda Flood, a housemaster's daughter stigmatized by her expulsion from another school, provides Barney with an unexpected ally. Both outsiders soon fall under the influence of charismatic senior pupil, Ivor Morrell, who reigns over the forbidden corners of the school: an abandoned fallout shelter and a haunted basement corridor.
A gruesome find and the friendship with a local woman rumoured to have been a wartime collaborator draw the three into an increasingly dangerous web of personal and social shame. Gripped by mounting horror at his discovery of secrets harboured by the isolated school community, Barney personifies the struggle of a young peacetime generation finding its way out of the shadow of war. A shocking climax reveals a lurking threat more immediate than he'd imagined, adding even greater urgency to his desire to escape the island - and its haunted past - once and for all.
..... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): By the time the car arrived to deposit him, fourteen boys and a housemaster were already gathered at the makeshift terminus in Grimsby, the old building having been destroyed in the winter floods.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 82): He hadn't cried at his own mother's funeral, he once told Barney, because human emotions don't work like that: you feel things at all the wrong times and that's all right.
MY THOUGHTS: Alas a read that simply didn't altogether do it for me. Perhaps too much information on the back cover or perhaps I was simply expecting too much - I was certainly expecting/hoping for a much more chilling, suspense filled tale - either way, having read the book I was left feeling oddly disappointed.
An OK read but very disjointed and with no real sense of time nor place as whilst the author admirably portrayed the isolation of this island community I'm afraid that overall the minute details of life, of the alienation, the loneliness, the power struggles, could have applied to any number of boarding schools in any number of places throughout history.
As for the characters. Though fascinated by the burgeoning sexuality of certain characters (something I think the author could have made more of), without exception I found myself unable to connect with a single one of them. Confused by the fact that they were called by both first and last names, that some of them seemed almost surplus to the story and were only mentioned occasionally, I'm afraid that apart from the main characters it was all too easy to loose track of just who was who.
Disclaimer: An ARC copy read and reviewed on behalf of the publisher, Alma Books, Silent Noon is not available until July 2013, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given
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