Karen's Reviews > The Silent Treatment

The Silent Treatment by Abbie Greaves
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it was amazing

"Because that is what love is, isn’t it? Giving without receiving. Of course, there is always the hope of receiving. Tiny, precious, fragile. You can be batted away a thousand times and still it will be there, too."

Oh my. I read this book in one sitting and it broke my heart to a million pieces. By the end, I was sobbing. I don't want to give too much away of the plot. This is basically a story about marriage and parenting. The way I felt about this story was the way I felt as I was reading Normal People. It's a book I loved unequivocally and a book that I can't see is not for everyone. There are also deeply sad and triggering subjects in the book.

'“I like that.” Your voice is barely above a whisper. “The little things that no one sees that could make the biggest change of all.”'

This book is about how relationships are hard and communication is hard, and about the little (or big) secrets to keep from each other. Sometimes to spare the other person's feelings. But so many times to ensure that the way they feel about us (and the way they see us) doesn't change. So many times it's out of fear. Out of love. Out of loneliness. Out of feeling alone and as if we are the only one. It's about how relationships can go awry and how secrets breed other secrets and how shame loves secrecy.

"If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive," says Dr. Brene Brown And this book is exactly about that. The secrecy, silence and worry around judgement. And the impact of that on a marriage.

"it’s that try as we might, there would always be some part of Eleanor that resided in the wilds outside our reach."

It's also about parenthood. About how hard it is. About how little control we have over who our kids turn out to be, about what happens to them, about our ability to parent them. This book is deeply about the impact a kid can have on his/her parents and on their marriage.

"He is coming to realize that there is a lot about Maggie that he never fully understood, a row of blanks in the crossword of their life together that are still empty."

The writing in this story is really beautiful. Touching, poignant, heartbreaking, flowing and it grabs you and doesn't let you go until the end. Much like "Normal People" it's about how broken we all are, and how when you put two broken people together and have them love each other fiercely, they can still manage to break each other in the process. We are all flawed and we don't always know how to do the right things.

"Frank, of all people, knows how it feels to be isolated by a secret."

I loved every bit of this story and may I never get to experience many of the sorrows in the book and may i learn to ask for help, for forgiveness and may i have the courage to douse my shame with empathy when I invariably make mistakes.

Thank you to netgalley and HarperCollins Publishers for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Reading Progress

March 7, 2020 – Shelved
March 8, 2020 – Started Reading
March 8, 2020 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Brownie quote on shame stunned me... I added this to my read list even though I didn’t love normal people. I trust your judgement and appreciate your perspective

Karen i hope you enjoy it rachel. i am cautious to recommend books like this to everyone because your mileage may vary but for me it was really good.

Karen Rachel wrote: "Brownie quote on shame stunned me... I added this to my read list even though I didn’t love normal people. I trust your judgement and appreciate your perspective"

And Brene Brown is amazing. hands down.

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