Some Quiet Place
By Kelsey Sutton
'The little girl I see in the pictures doesn't really look like me. The physical details are the same, of course. The wild blond hair, the blue eyes, the smooth, sun-darkened skin. But if someone else hadn't said that the little girl was me, I wouldn't have known. It's not that I don't remember being so young...I just don't know how I became what I am now.
There's something missing in the girl I see in the mirror compared to the one in those pictures: a sort of soul. A light inside.'
She can't weep, lust, cower in terror, or even celebrate. All she can do is pretend.
The only sensation Elizabeth Caldwell is able to feel is nothingness. An ever-present nothingness that consumes her, eating away at her.
She learns to observe, to give people the reaction they expect and to pretend that she isn't the freak who can't feel...who has never experienced love, anger, denial or fear.
But though Elizabeth has never experienced any of these emotions she knows they exist all too well. She can see them...in the flesh.
They stand right behind you. They stand nose-to-nose with you. You can't tell...but she can.
Shame, Longing, Jealousy, Courage, Anger - they wander the halls of Elizabeth's school, stand around her dinner table, walk along side pedestrians and hang out at high school parties. But they never bother Elizabeth, having given up on trying to get through Elizabeth's numbness a long time ago. Instead, they target those around her: her dysfunctional and resentful family, nasty classmates, the shy Joshua Hayes.
But one refuses to give up. One refuses to be defeated.
Shaking in your boots? Shivers down your spine? Fear must be close.
Fear has always been fascinated with Elizabeth, ever since she was a child. A tantalising mystery, she is the one human who is immune to his touch, unaffected by his powers and the aura of terror he wears as a second cloak. No matter the number of trials, tests and illusions he throws at her, not once does she cave. Not once does she feel.
Intrigued, and a little irritated, Fear vows to get to the bottom of it - he will discover her secret, and when he does she better prepare herself for the fright of a lifetime.
Is it a sweet dream...or a beautiful nightmare?
Darkened woods. Screams. Terror. Sorrow. A girl clutching the lifeless body of the boy she loves.
The dream refuses to change, no matter how many nights it plagues Elizabeth - it refuses to give up its secrets. But as the draw to it becomes greater, Elizabeth can't help but sense that it is more than a figment of her imagination. That this dream may hold the key to her past, to her condition and to the menacing shadow that seems to be lurking over her shoulder, dogging her steps.
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.”*
A tale that explores what it is that truly makes us human, Some Quiet Place is a hauntingly beautiful book that will rattle you, tear you apart and then lovingly put you back together again.
A big thank you to Netgalley and Flux Publishing for giving me the chance to read and review this :)
*quote by Rumi