NOW AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK // REVIEW BY YVONNE MILLER
The Hush is so fascinating and propulsive that it is just downright addictive. It’s a story about finding hope in a hopeless place, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to other readers.
Silence can be a weapon. Things left unsaid cut sharper than a knife.
Dystopian fiction can be quite hit and miss for me. Once you’ve read a few, they can blur into one. It’s usually a done deal after a few pages of reading on whether it will be hit or a miss…Mylonas hooked me even sooner – the first scene in the very first chapter had synapses firing off in my head. Trying to decipher the why’s and where’s. In those first few moments, images danced in my head; I knew there was a threat, a creeping shadow rising up to impact everyone.
The Hush is the kind of story that affects people. It’s the kind of story that makes your skin crawl with the intensity of the storyline. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that a government could implement an archaic policy that would outlaw communication as a whole. The spoken word, written text, and sign language are all gone. How can people be expected to communicate, show emotion, and express grief if the government expects them all to become mute? There is a dangerous thrill to The Hush that had me checking if I was still able to talk – the implications are that huge.
This story had me looking at the world through different eyes. We rely on talking and communicating through different channels so much that it’s hard to envision not being able to do that anymore. The reader isn’t detached from the situation – the writing allows us to become fully immersed in the protagonist’s plight. The author tugs at the threads of reality and pulls them taut, leaving the reader struggling to grasp how they would react in the same situation. I felt like I was being pulled in different directions, I wanted to help, but I didn’t know how.
The Hush tells the story of The Farmer and his wife, The Teacher. They are living in a repressive society that has outlawed all communication. It has a hint of 1984 in so much that society just ends up accepting that this is now their life; they don’t fight against it; they are even beyond questioning it. It is just another expectation that they must uphold. The Farmer and The Teacher are living less than a half-life; their marriage is a shell of what it once was, and their grief of losing their baby boy being held hostage in their hearts – never to see the light of day again. They had seen their friends be killed, friends turn on each other, and their farms shrivel up to nothing. It’s not just the oppressive actions of the government that has a chokehold on them but the weather – it has turned into a dry wasteland that nothing thrives on.
The Hush blew me away with its powerful narrative. There was the right balance of important details, a window into the past, and snippets of the hardships, but there was also hope at the centre of it all – the hope in the form of a little girl that turned both their worlds upside down.
The Hush | By E.A. Mylonas | 364 pp. | Inspired Quill | Paperback £9.99