Review of Must Love Silence by Lucy Bexley, audiobook narrated by Abby Craden
This is the first book I’ve read by this author, more precisely listen to, and I admit that I picked it because of Abby Craden. Must Love Silence is Ms. Bexley’s first full-length novel. It’s an entertaining listen with the unusual romance between an audiobook narrator and a writer.
Reese Walker is an audiobook narrator who prefers solitude and silence. She rarely leaves her Chicago apartment but a bill collection that threatens to stop her sister’s rehab treatment forces her to accept a job that takes her to NY to record in front of a very pedantic author. Arden Abbott is said author who needs a flawless comeback after a blow to her career. When Reese and Arden meet sparks fly but, can Reese survive the pressure from Arden and can both women go outside their comfort zones to be together?
This was an enjoyable enemies-to-lovers romance with the right amount of romance, humour and food for thought. Without being overly dramatic, the novel deals with anxiety and alcoholism. I imagine that the author wrote part of this story from her personal experience as her Twitter profile states that she’s sober and her bio says that she is a fan of silence. The descriptions of both Reese’s anxiety and Arden’s sobriety are raw but, at the same time, so detailed that after a while you understand (and like) them both.
The novel is written in third person from the exclusive point of view of Reese which added an air of mystery around Arden but made me wonder if it wouldn’t have been better to tell it in first person to get more deeply into Reese’s headspace. Comparing both main characters, Reese is better fleshed out than Arden whose actions at the beginning confused me as she seemed to act in a contradicting way. However, a few chapters into the book, Arden’s personality is shaped better and the reader can see why Reese is attracted to her. From there on, the tone of the story changes from enemies to lovers to a heartwarming romance. The usual “black moment” found around the 80% mark makes sense in the context of the story and delves deeper into the psyche of both characters.
As usual, Abby Craden’s job was fantastic with the added bonus of playing the role of a narrator, which was fun to listen to. As I always say, a good narration brings the story to life and adds value and depth. This is absolutely the case with Must Love Silence. Ms. Craden performs the variety of emotions and the different tones of the story with her usual professionalism and talent. 4.5 stars.
Length: 5 hours, 36 minutes