Book Reviews

Book Review: A Quiet Life

By Ethan Joella

Published November 2022

301 Pages

Rarely do I see such a perfect title to describe a book.  For this was, indeed, a very quiet book.  An extremely poignant, well-crafted book that I waited months to read and honestly, it was worth the wait.

Through three narratives, the reader follows seemingly disparate characters who are struggling with a recent loss and the resulting grief.  Chuck Ayers tries to come to terms with his wife’s death as the date of their annual snowbird trip to Hilton Head looms.  Kirsten Bonato’s life seems to be on hold after her father was murdered and she can’t muster the energy to move ahead with any of her plans.  And Ella Burke waits for word of her missing daughter, simply going through the motions of living and working two jobs to fill her days.

Over the course of a few winter weeks, the lives of each character become intertwined in numerous small ways, placing them in a position to help each other work through their grief and slowly find a way to come back to life.

“A Quiet Life” interpreted by Wombo Dream

Wow.  This was such a captivating book.  The three storylines were equally complex and moving and they intersected each other in ways that were totally natural and also unexpected.  The side characters were also engaging; I particularly loved the friendship between Chuck and Hal and looked forward to Hal and his dog making an appearance.  A lot of authors have a tendency to dump backstory in one lump, but these histories were woven in bit by bit, slowly building a fully fleshed out life for each character.

Of the three, I cared for Kirsten’s dilemma the least, which is odd since out of everything these characters were going through, losing a father is the only one I could remotely relate to.  However, her romantic remedy, while plausible, didn’t carry the same weight as the other characters for me.  But, it certainly wasn’t enough to dull my enjoyment of the novel.

If you like a hopeful, character-driven novel, pick this one up. 

4.25/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐+

Until next time, thank you for visiting.


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