The Quiet Ones: Betsy Reavley
This is a book that begins with a fire and an unknown person staring at the flames, transfixed by the glow and unable to move. The character relates his/her feelings about his life, nowhere to go and no place to call home not caring that the houses along with the one that is burning might burn too. What happened to this person will be revealed as the author and the character take readers back to the beginning and we meet Josie and Charlie a couple who are years apart but seem happy. Josie does not know where she came from or who she really is and never questioned it until she receives a mysterious letter and someone close to her is murdered. Questioning her past she must focus on the present and learn who sent the letter and who wants to control her life. The introduction is quite graphic and the scene is vividly described as the reader can feel the heat from the flames as the character’s world goes up in smoke.
Josie might appear happily married to Charlie who is wonderful to her and quite understanding of her odd ways and unusual behavior. A letter that seems to mark the start of her downfall and a phone call that Charlie took that has her staying away from answering the phone. While she is pondering about what to write in her next book and hoping to get it published, loving print but having to deal with eBooks, Josie finds herself in a blue funk you might say while Charlie greets the day with a smile and ready to make her breakfast and ease her way into the pattern she sets for herself. A friend informs her of the brutal murder of her parents and the scene is so vividly depicted and her drunken stupor so graphically described you begin to wonder whether Josie is processing what she was told by her friend on the phone and when she comes face to face with the reality it’s amazing what Charlie has to deal with. She seems out of life, living in limbo and definitely trying to face the world but not without some type of addicting substance.
Josie divorced herself from her family as we get to know about her past, molested as a child and dealing with Post Traumatic Stress disorder and escaping reality and the real world by trying to write a book, find her course in life and then wondering why Charlie stays with her.
Josie seems to bury herself in alcohol, weed and other ways of escaping the realities of life, which makes readers wonder why Charlie remains with her. Her personality shifts gears so many times that you wonder whether she has some type of disorder that has yet to be diagnosed. Adding in she finally admits to Charlie what her father did to her and as you hear the hidden voices within her you wonder if she is going to strike back but at whom, when and where? Even when she has a weekend with her friend Sophie you see shades of deception, her distrust for her boyfriend Rory and she unravels at the slightest things. With alcohol her staple and her ability to black out times, and even more just blacking out you being to wonder what she is doing during those times and where her mind goes as she awakens and has not recall about what happened before. Just who is this person that is following her and wants to destroy her life? Who is the narrator in the other part of the story?
The holiday season has always been special to Josie and now that she has reconnected with her birth mother and invited her to come for the holidays will she embrace some happiness and learn to smile? But, Charlie seems set on putting his own spin on the holidays and although he works hard, tries not to complain he needs something in his life to make him smile too and I don’t think it is Josie. The author allows us to get to know more about his past, the fact that his mother has dementia and he wants to visit her without Josie. It’s a hard illness, which I know quite a lot about. Josie is cold and shows no empathy for anyone but herself she even cuts off her friend Sophie when trying to talk about her holidays and her friendship with Rory. It’s as if she resents anyone else being happy and needs to find a negative twist to every situation.
The author takes us on a ride that you just won’t escape from as Josie sinks further into her own world, something happens that will surprise readers as the twist at the end is quite startling, compelling and the roller coaster ride just might provide a car that tumbles slowly and methodically to the ground. A startling revelation and a confession you just won’t believe as Josie’s world comes tumbling down and the truth about her past smack dab in her face. Just who is Josie Brewer? Why did Ailene leave so abruptly? What caused Josie to run away and go to Sophie’s? An ending that will not only surprise readers but also make people aware that sometimes someone is not what they seem. The truth behind Josie is described in detail at the end of the book with the research shared by the author and the narrator who is compelled to remain with Josie forever but why? How?
This book brings out many issues of child abuse, betrayals, and permanent damage done to a young child that causes her to develop an unusual defense mechanism as an adult. Loyalties were hard for Josie to develop and trust did not come often. The Quiet Ones: Listen carefully because you can hardly hear their words, thoughts and feelings unless you feel the quiet and hear the whispers of the Quiet Ones. Free of agitation, free of anger and free of anguish or turmoil and person that seems subdued, restrained and understated and often keeps their feelings hidden or to themselves. As you get to know Josie, Charlie and Sophie you decide which one if any fits the definition of The Quiet One as a sinister quiet fills the air and pages of this psychological, mystery thriller.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ Magazine