"This mind-blowing novel unwraps truths about cults, social change movements, and the inevitability of big organisations becoming greedy through the story of a woman who takes a vow of silence."
What an incredible novel. Presented as a daughter’s account of her mother’s life, death and legacy as founder of a protest movement, Carole Hailey’s The Silence Project is a sizzling, thought-provoking tour de force.
From personal vow-of-silence protest, to founding a Community cult, through to igniting a sinister global organisation with cultural imperialist grips on developing countries, The Silence Project explores the snowballing nature of cults and social movements, and the impulse of big organisations to grab more power and money. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a moving story of impossibly complex family dynamics, mother-daughter needs, and knowing when to listen, and when to speak out.
Emilia last heard her mother’s voice on her thirteenth birthday, the day Rachel took a vow of silence and moved into a tent in their garden. Initially seen as the act of a lone eccentric woman, it’s not long before more women turn up and found the Community, driven by Rachel’s belief that, “Action born of anger can never be positive. Our world needed positive action. And that can only happen if we stop shouting, First, we must fall silent. Then we must listen to others. Only when we hear others, will we ourselves be heard”.
Soon the Community’s ideals and “Shhh… Talk less, listen more” slogan goes global like wildfire, sparking a big organisation, and a big Event. Namely, a mass burning that sees Rachel and thousands of her followers burn themselves to death.
Just before the Event, Rachel’s Goals were revealed: “Eliminate International Conflict, Restore Climate Health, Solve Population Crisis”. Post-Event, the Community takes extreme measures to realise them. As Emilia notes, “An organisation built on the promise of listening” now “only heard what it wanted to hear”. Depending on who you listen to, Rachel is either a martyred saint, or a devil. To her daughter, now an adult who’s struggling to live a new life and make sense of it all, “No matter what she did, Rachel was very human. She was deeply flawed and deeply courageous. She was a bad person and good one. She was also my mother”.
|Thriller and Suspense