Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Title: Where Silence Gathers
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Narrator:  Jorjeana Marie
Series: Some Quiet Place, book #2
Length:  10 hrs 30 mins
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
Source: borrowed from library
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

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In this companion novel to the critically acclaimed Some Quiet Place, Alex must choose between Revenge and Forgiveness.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandra Tate sits outside Nate Foster's house, clutching a gun. After serving ten years for the drunk driving accident that killed Alex's family, Nate has been released from prison. Every night, Alex waits out of sight, building up the courage to exact her own justice. There's just one problem: Forgiveness. Alex has been able to see personified Emotions for as long as she can remember, and Revenge is her best friend. But when Forgiveness suddenly appears, he offers Alex a choice--getting even or moving on. It's impossible to decide when Revenge whispers in one ear . . . and Forgiveness whispers in the other.

Where Silence Gathers is a companion novel to Some Quiet Place, a novel a thoroughly enjoyed reading last year. And I was glad that although Fear -- and a few of the other personified emotions we met in the last story -- made a few brief cameo appearances in this follow-up novel, this book largely held a completely new cast of characters, all with their own macabre story to tell.

The second novel from Kelsey Sutton is no less melancholy than the first, but for many reasons, this one left me feeling bereft in comparison to the previous book. In this story, Alex is grieving -- has been grieving for years -- over the loss of her family at the hands of a drunk driver who has just been released from prison. Her best friend Revenge is right there with her, ready to help her exact her vengeance on the man who took everything from her. Until she is given another Choice: Forgiveness. While Alex believes herself to be in love with Revenge, she can't deny the pull she feels toward the enigmatic Forgiveness.

Whereas Some Quiet Place made it difficult to connect with the unfeeling, somewhat emotionally stunted Elizabeth, it's almost impossible not to despair with Alex as she explores her own grief and the Choices presented to her. The focus in the first book was on the Emotions and their paranormal aspect, but in this companion, everything revolves around Alex's desire to avenge her family's deaths and the Choices that attempt to influence her one way or the other.

That synopsis smacks of a love triangle, but there is a distinct lack of romance in this novel when you get to the thick of things. There's definitely a connection between Revenge and Alex and even one between Alex and Forgiveness, but to act on any of these feelings is basically forbidden. First and foremost, a Choice needs to be made, emotional connection or not.

I originally received a copy of this book for review from the publisher, but I didn't get to it before the release date, so I opted to borrow a copy of the audiobook from my library. This narrator was new to me, but I think she did a great job of bringing Alex's terrible sadness to the surface of the story. Alex tried to put a brave front up for her friends, but Jorjeana Marie brought a certain vulnerability to the character that I might not have had I read the text of the story myself. I think it helped me to connect to the character when others seem not to have.

I was a huge fan of the author's debut, and this sophomore entry is no less evocative. The sorrowful intensity so palpable in the first book simply manifests itself in a completely different way in this story, much to my delight. Though I would have loved to read more about Fear and the other Emotions, I very much enjoyed this exploration into Alex's grief and the Choice she has to make in order to overcome it.

GIF it to me straight:
Lots of feels in this book...mostly the depressing kind.

About the author:

Kelsey Sutton has done everything from training dogs, making cheeseburgers, selling yellow page ads, and cleaning hotel rooms. Now she divides her time between her college classes and her writing, though she can also sometimes be found pounding out horrible renditions of Beethoven on the piano and trying bizarre drinks at her local coffee shop. Kelsey lives in northern Minnesota with her dog and cat, Lewis and Clark.

Find Kelsey:

Blog | Twitter | Goodreads


  1. I ended up putting this one aside--I couldn't get into it. Maybe because it was so depressing. I'm not sure if I'll pick it up again or not. I'll be reading Sutton's next though--she is very talented.

    1. It *was* super depressing, and I'm not sure if I would have finished if I'd read it instead of listening, but I did like the overall message of forgiveness and letting things go. It was sad but hopeful. I'll definitely pick up whatever she writes next because her writing is pretty exquisite.


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