Exceptional - one of my favourite books over the past 5 years

Updated: May 6, 2021

⭐⭐ ⭐⭐⭐

The Silent Listener by Lyn Yeowart

The Blurb


Joy Henderson returns to the family farm to nurse her dying father. To the outside world, George is a pillar of the community, but to Joy and her siblings, he’s a monster. As children, they lived in constant fear of the punishments he dished out to his “dirty, filthy sinners who are going to rot in Hell”. Then, the day after George finally confesses to a horrific crime, Joy finds him dead — with a belt pulled tight around his neck . . . Senior Constable Alex Shepherd, summoned to the scene by George’s doctor, is suspicious: did Joy murder her father? If so, why? The more Shepherd digs the more questions he raises. Will the truth finally be revealed? Effortlessly propelling the reader back and forth between three timelines, Lyn Yeowart’s unforgettable debut richly rewards the reader with its explosive, pitiless conclusion. This electrifying literary thriller will be devoured by fans of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, Eve Chase’s The Glass House, Delia Owens, Gillian Flynn and Kate Morton. About the Author

Lyn Yeowart is a professional writer and editor, working on everything from captions for artworks to speeches. The Silent Listener is loosely based on events from her childhood in rural Australia. She now happily lives in Melbourne, where there is little mud, but lots of books.

The Review

For a debut novel, this is possibly one of the most artfully written books I’ve read in the past twelve months. The vocabulary, metaphors and symbolism used by the Author throughout is highly impressive to say the least. It draws you in and gets under your skin to the point where you literally cannot put it down, needing to find out how the story ends.

The novel moves between three time-periods – the 1940s where we meet George and Gwen Henderson beginning their marital journey setting up a dairy farm in Australia. Then we move to the 1960s and to their daughters, Joy and Ruth Henderson, where we find George, a pillar of the community and devout Christian who expects the same of his God-fearing children. However, Ruth is unable to leave the house as she was disfigured in a tragic accident that no one dares speak about. Then we move to the 1980s where Joy returns to her childhood home to care for their, now elderly, dying father. Having left home at the age of 16, she wants to return to demand some truths from her father and make him pay for her horrific upbringing.

The Author immediately creates an emotional connection with the reader and every era is intensely gripping as the Author describes how the girls, their mother and brother dealt with the terror they suffered at the hands of their father. It is written with such awe-inspiring flair especially from the perspective of Joy and her fears which is so powerful adding layer upon layer of emotion.

The twists and turns come thick and fast and at times I was stunned about every revelation. Some of the most touching chapters involve Joy going round to her friend Felicity’s house where she observes the love of a ‘normal’ family.

Despite Joy, Mark and Ruth’s abusive childhood, the story moves along in a light and shade manner, and one of the highlights is Joy’s description of the eels in her stomach which is perfect metaphorically for how she feels under the surface and is depicted so beautifully.

This is a heart-warming story of love, friendship, loyalty, family, trust and ultimate heartache wrapped up in an exceptional psychological thriller.

This has got to be one of my top 5 books over the last five years and I would highly recommend it. I look forward to more wonderful things from this talented Author.

You can buy a copy which is due for release on the 24th June 2021 but available for pre-order on the following link:


Review dated: 29.04.21

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