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Silence is a Sense

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What to expect

A SUNDAY TIMES STYLE RECOMMEND

‘Lyrical, moving, revealing’
TRACY CHEVALIER

‘Brilliant’ NIKITA LALWANI

‘Such beautiful writing… A little bit Rear Window, a little bit Home Fire, a little bit Shameless. I loved it’ LOUISA YOUNG

‘Daring and devastating’ FIONA MOZLEY

A young woman spends her days watching the neighbours through their windows. She is a refugee, who has seen the failure of the Arab Spring in her homeland and who has been traumatized into silence by her brutal journey from Syria to Britain. 

As an outsider, a mute voyeur, she sees everything, she hears everything: the love, the fighting, the families, the secrets, the lies, the sex, the shame.  Slowly drawn into the community that surrounds her, she begins to come to terms with all she has lost. After a brutal attack on the local mosque, she realises she is the only witness to the truth behind the violence. But will she finally speak of all she’s seen? 

Rear Window meets Exit West, this beautifully written novel tells the powerful story of one woman’s trauma and her gradual healing.

Critics Review

  • ‘Compelling and original, Silence Is a Sense is uncomfortably close to the bone, depicting a country riven by racism and violence’ OBSERVER

    Silence is a Sense is a fierce novel. The prose is ferocious, the pace is ferocious… Layla AlAmmar has skilfully woven a narrative of memory and grief with an illuminating social critique of the position of asylum seekers within contemporary British society. It is daring and devastating’ FIONA MOZLEY

    Silence is a Sense is not an easy read, but it is a necessary one’ TLS

    ‘A powerful new voice, full of brilliant, sharp observational detail’ NIKITA LALWANI

    ‘I admire this book. It is an intelligent, insightful novel that asks vital questions about how we can begin to express trauma, and in what form’ GUARDIAN

    Silence is a Sense opens the door on lives we need to hear more about. Lyrical, moving, revealing, it made me understand better the very human need for safety and contact’ TRACY CHEVALIER

    ‘I was properly enthralled: such intelligence, such a deep pure standard of human decency and connection, such beautiful writing. So intriguing and at the same time revelatory, and absolutely on point about trauma. A little bit Rear Window, a little bit Home Fire, a little bit Shameless. I loved it’ LOUISA YOUNG

    ‘A haunting, lyrical novel about hope, healing and redemption’ RED MAGAZINE

    ‘The new genre: suburbanoir… Expect more riffs on the dark side of the picket fence to come: out this week is Silence Is a Sense by Layla AlAmmar described as “Rear Window meets [Mohsin Hamid’s] Exit West”, which follows a mute Syrian refugee watching her neighbours from her new apartment’ STYLE MAGAZINE

    ‘A stunning, evocative read’ J NEWS

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