Claire's Reviews > Lies of Silence

Lies of Silence by Brian Moore
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really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, irish-literature, around-the-world, around-the-world-2021, historical-fiction

I'm reading a selection of Brian Moore's novels in 2021 for the Brian Moore at 100 centenary and this was the book planned for January.

I wrote a blog post about Brian Moore, my interest in the project and the planned monthly reading schedule (1 book per month) here.

Lies of Silence is the story of a disenchanted man, a man who reluctantly returned to Northern Ireland from London with his wife Moira, who was keen to return. Now he is the manager of a hotel, a job he doesn't particularly like, having left his poetry aspirations far behind him, following int he footsteps of his father, a man he feels resentment towards.

Unsurprisingly, his personal life has become entangled and just as the unspoken issues simmering below this relationship are about to boil over, he and his wife are taken hostage in their own home, he to be used as a pawn in what unfolds as a complex, thought out plan. In the midst of the initial drama Michael sees his neighbour, a retired bank manager leave with his dog for a walk, seeing in him the average, everyman and woman who just wants to get on with life without interference from "men in woolen masks".
Watching him go off with his dog, Dillon felt anger rise within him, anger at the lies which had made this, his and Mr Harbinger's birthplace, sick with a terrible illness of bigotry and injustice, lies told over the years to poor Protestant working people about the Catholics, lies told to poor Catholic working people about the Protestants, lies from parliaments and pulpits, lies at rallies and funeral orations, and, above all, the lies of silence from those in Westminster who did not want to face the injustice of Ulster's status quo. Angry, he stared across the room at the most dangerous victims of these lies, his youthful, ignorant, murderous, captors

Under threat, as he moves towards doing what has been asked of him, he faces an excruciating moral dilemma, and a situation that spirals him into further confusion and deliberations over what the "right thing to do" is.

It's something of a page turner, while not holding back on expressing the tensions and opinions of various characters in this complex, often not well understood political environment.

It's also clear that Moore is as keen on seeking revenge with his pen, as much as his characters do with whatever is at their disposal, his distance from the home country giving him a freedom and inclination to provoke, inform and stir the troubled pot, so to speak.
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Reading Progress

January 25, 2021 – Shelved
January 25, 2021 – Shelved as: to-read
January 25, 2021 – Shelved as: fiction
January 25, 2021 – Shelved as: irish-literature
February 28, 2021 – Started Reading
February 28, 2021 – Shelved as: around-the-world
February 28, 2021 – Shelved as: around-the-world-2021
February 28, 2021 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
February 28, 2021 –
page 30
15.63%
March 1, 2021 –
page 152
79.17% "When Hotel Manager Michael Dillon gets caught up in a bomb plot by the IRA, the timing could not have been worse with regard to his personal life.
This event brings everything that was simmering or silent to the surface.
The personal and the political mirrored."
March 2, 2021 – Finished Reading

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