The Silent Treatment
A lifetime of love. Six months of silence. One last chance.
Frank hasn’t spoken to his wife Maggie for six months.
For weeks they have lived under the same roof, slept in the same bed and eaten at the same table – all without words.
Maggie has plenty of ideas as to why her husband has gone quiet, but it will take another heartbreaking turn of events before Frank finally starts to unravel the secrets that have silenced him.
Is this where their story ends?
Or is it where it begins?
Maggie and Frank have been married for forty years. Since the very moment they met, they have loved each other dearly. Their life together has been one full of joy and words and laughter. They have had their fair share of bleak times, blows that knocked them for six, but their relationship has always been unbreachable, built strong and steady, a rare bond. But that is until it goes quiet. Now, Maggie and Frank do not speak. They cook their meals, share a bed, live to an unfamiliar rhythm. Six months ago, Frank stopped speaking, nothing could draw out his voice, not even Maggie. The weight of his secret has divided them, and if they are not careful, they might not be able to close up that space.
When Frank finds Maggie, unconscious, with a empty blister pack of pills, his fragile world dissolves. She is rushed to hospital and there she is put in an induced coma. Not daring to leave her side, Frank begins to explain, to tell his story. The words he has been holding back, are finally released. But can he mend what was broken? Will Maggie ever recover?
Alternating between past and present, The Silent Treatment follows two narratives, Frank’s and Maggie’s, as they meet in their youth, the ups and downs of their life together and pocket of time when silence fills their house and not a word is spoken. This book examines the strength and resilience of a relationship and what can happen when tragedy strikes, how it can bow under strain or grow and strengthen. It also examines the many shades of parenthood, love and joy, fear and grief.
This is a gloriously heart-felt book, written with a charm and power that is irresistible to the reader. I defy you not to read this book and fall in love with it. The author has created a unique and genius concept and two characters that draw you in instantly. The Silent Treatment is about love, tragedy, parenthood and what happens when all one’s words run out. Fabulous.
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About the Author
Abbie Greaves studied at Cambridge University before working in a literary agency for a number of years.
She was inspired to write her first novel, The Silent Treatment, after reading a newspaper article about a boy in Japan who had never seen his parents speak to one another before.
Abbie lives in Edinburgh with her boyfriend and is hard at work on her follow-up novel, The Ends of the Earth.