THE QUIET­NESS

By Ali­son Rat­tle ( Five Mile Press, soft­cover, $ 16.95)

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - BOOKS -

THE dark un­der­belly of 19th­cen­tury Lon­don is the back­drop for this com­pelling, poignant story of two girls from com­pletely dif­fer­ent walks of life who find in each other a sense of be­long­ing they have never known in their short, dif­fi­cult lives.

Fif­teen- year- old Quee­nie lives in the damp, cold, squalour of the slums, where her mother is forced into pros­ti­tu­tion to feed her hun­gry chil­dren.

Across town, 16- year- old Ellen lives in a grand house with ser­vants, beau­ti­ful clothes and plenty to eat. But her par­ents are cold, dis­tant, brit­tle and im­pos­si­ble to love.

When Quee­nie leaves home and finds work with the Wa­ters sis­ters, she is de­lighted to be earn­ing an in­come, so as time goes by and a tiny voice in­side her is telling her some­thing is very wrong, she chooses not to hear it.

When her cousin Ja­cob comes to stay, Ellen thinks her life will change for the bet­ter, but events take a dev­as­tat­ing turn.

Th­ese two girls, who have more in com­mon than they could ever imag­ine, are thrown to­gether un­der ex­tra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances in a dis­turbingly tragic young adult story that qui­etly drips with in­trigue and ten­sion.

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