Lily Emmett has suffered from selective mutism since childhood and still struggles to see the value of everyday speech. Her sister, Connie, has always spoken for her, and her partner, Richard, has learnt to translate her movements so that they share a unique form of communication.
But when the two sisters return to their childhood home after their mother’s death, the visit inspires memories of the event that first rendered Lily silent, and still haunts them both. The resulting search for the truth about what happened takes them back to a childhood shaped by bullying and familial breakdown, and unearths the secrets that lie at the heart of the sisters’ relationship.
"As the past narrative cuts to unsettling, vivid memories of Lily’s childhood – her mother’s depression, vicious mockery at school, and trips to stone-walled institutions in efforts to 'cure' her mutism – present-day Lily tries to work backward and unearth the lost memory of what exactly she saw the night Billy died.
At a crossroads, she and Richard move to her old family home in Drayfield, empty since her mother’s death. Marshall-Ball does an admirable job of seamlessly switching between the past and present and building a creeping sense of unease that’s especially visceral when Lily is a child, shuttled from institution to home and back again... A mystery worth reading for its close attention to the strangeness of family, childhood, and memory." - Kirkus Reviews
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Myriad Editions (25 Jun. 2015)
Size: 129mm x 198mm