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Review by Suze
Adeline lives in a convent. Something has happened to her and it was so terrible that she hasn't been able to speak ever since. She's blocked most of her memories and nobody knows what's the matter. It's several years after the war now and they think it's time for her to get better help. Slowly some of her memories are coming back, but they are so painful, too painful to think about.
Tristan and his family moved from Paris to the French countryside at the start of the war, because of their safety. There he has to get used to a completely different life. School is different, he has more space to play, his friends are different and he doesn't understand what is happening. He wants to help and save his country, but he's very young and he has no idea what the consequences of his actions will be.
Sebastien is madly in love with Isabelle, but the war makes things difficult for the young couple. He's a Jewish banker and slowly his life is changing. He might lose everything that's dear to him. Isabelle loves him very much as well. They're a young couple who should have the time of their lives, but instead the war is threatening to spoil everything for them. When Sebastien is taking a great risk to see Isabelle he changes the course of his future. What will happen to these two people in love?
Isabelle is in love with Sebastien. It makes her happy that she's found the love of her life, but the war makes it difficult for her to love him freely. Especially when it isn't possible for Jews to have a normal existence any longer. She also misses her brother Paul dearly. He's been captured by the Germans and she has no idea when and if he'll be coming home. They're regularly exchanging letters, but their content is getting more sorrowful every time they write.
The stories of the main characters in this book are coming together at some point and that was such an emotional moment. I shed quite a lot of tears while reading this book. The Silent Hours is an impressive story about the war, about love and hate and about the terrible things that have been done to people. I don't understand cruelty and it always makes me feel sick. It's so unfair that Isabelle and Sebastien can't be happily in love and that a young guy like Paul has to wither away in prison. Every victim of war is one too many. I think The Silent Hours shows that in a beautiful way. I loved this book, it's absolutely amazing. The topic is a sad one, but there's also hope and that got me through the story. Even though the most terrible things were happening they had to end at some point, the only question is what will be left after so many years of misery. Cesca Major is a great author and The Silent Hours is definitely a book I will read again.