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Susan Allott Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Silence (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Susan Allott
Author Susan Allott is from the United Kingdom originally, however, she spent a part of her twenties in Australia, the entire time desperately homesick but making an effort to make Sydney her home.

She completed the Faber Academy course in the year 2017, during which time she wrote “The Silence”.

She is one of those people that always wanted to be a writer. This dates back to the time she was in primary school when one encouraging instructor praised her work (it was a poem) and showed it to the headmaster, who had it framed and hung it on the wall of his office. Susan must have been only seven years old at the time, and has been riding this high ever since.

Susan never told people of her ambition until she applied to University. She asked a family friend (who was an English Literature lecturer) what course she should take first if she wanted to be a writer. He said a journalism course. She told him she wanted to write novels. The friend looked embarrassed for Susan.

This was in the year 1989, before the proliferation of all the creative writing classes at degree and post-grad levels. He advised her to study English, and just write in any spare time she had. Susan wasn’t convinced, however she did follow his advice anyway. She never told anybody she wanted to be an author for a decade, maybe two.

So she studied for a BA in English at Leeds University and then she went for an MA in Media & Communication Studies at Goldsmiths College. During these years of academia, not one word of creative writing was produced during her spare time.

She was in her late twenties, living in London after time spent in Australia when she finally decided she was unable to put it off any longer. She enrolled on a ‘starting to write’ correspondence course. It culminated in a short story about a woman named Louisa and Isla, her daughter. The story was told from Isla’s perspective, while watching her mom packing up a suitcase and wondered about where she would be going, and if her mom would leave her behind. Susan remembers her tutor suggesting it would all benefit from a much stronger sense of place.

It was another decade before that scene got integrated into the novel that later become “The Silence”. And several more years before Harper Collins would buy the novel. In all, it took her seven years to write the novel.

She says it is possible that she may have written something different for her first novel if the Australian themes hadn’t continued to haunt her.

While writing, she drinks tea and writes undisturbed during the entire morning, while her head is fresh but her inner critic sleeps. If she gets stuck, she goes and hangs some laundry or takes a walk. During the afternoons, she will look over what she has written and edit some of it.

The novel was inspired by Susan’s time living in Sydney. When she was doing early research for the novel, she read a book called “Australia, the History of a Nation” by Philip Knightley. A story about a policeman that would come home and cry on the veranda because he was required to take Aboriginal kids from their families. She was unable to quit thinking about him, she wanted to know how somebody would cope with realizing that something they thought was right was actually wrong. That they caused untold damage and pain.

Susan lives in south London with her two kids and her extremely Australian husband.

She has thought often about the irony of her marrying an Aussie bloke. It was like Australia was hanging on to her in some way, forcing her to make peace with the time she spent there.

Susan’s debut novel, called “The Silence”, was released in the year 2020. Her work is from the mystery genre, and was published by Harper Collins.

“The Silence” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. The year is 1997. Isla Green, in one basement flat in Hackney, gets awakened by a phone call in the middle of the night, her dad is calling from Sydney. Thirty years prior, during the stifling heat in the summer of 1967, Mandy (the Greens’ next-door neighbor) went missing. It was believed she fled a broken marriage to begin a new life, however Mandy’s family attempts to reconnect, and there isn’t any trace of her. Joe, Isla’s dad, was the last person to see her alive allegedly, and now he has come under suspicion of murder.

Isla unwillingly plans on heading back to Australia for the very first time in ten years to help her dad out. The return to Sydney is going to plunge Isla deep into the past, to the quiet street near the sea where two couples live right next to each other. Louisa and Joe, Isla’s parents, have emigrated from England not too long ago, and it was a move that left Louisa horribly homesick, but Joe embraces this new life. Next door, Steve and Mandy are just as troubled. Mandy isn’t interested in having a kid, despite Steve, who works as a cop attempting to hold everything together under pressures of the job, desperately wanting to become a dad.

The more Isla asks questions concerning the past, the more she finds out: about these two young couples and the secrets these marriages bore. Could her dad really be capable of doing something this horrible? How much could her mom know? What is going to happen to their family should Isla’s worst fears become realized? Could there be an additional secret in this community, one that goes deeper into Australia’s colonial past, which has been holding all of them in a conspiracy of silence?

Fans found this to be a stunning, powerful, and heart wrenching debut novel. Susan captures the sense of place and time perfectly, and she moves seamlessly into the present and the past until the truth comes into light.

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