The Silent Land - Graham Joyce Zoe and Jake, a husband and wife in their 30s and sharing a deep, loving bond are on a romantic skiing break when they become caught in the middle of an avalanche. Jake digs Zoe out and both return unhurt to their hotel. The hotel is empty of guests and staff and the entire village is completely deserted. Guessing that the village has been evacuated, Zoe and Jake attempt to make their way down the mountain only to find that various routes all lead them right back to where they started.
 
By now most readers will have an idea of what is going on and it is testament to Joyce’s writing that even though you can figure out the main premise of the novel a third of the way through it really doesn’t matter. It is all about the journey. They eat and drink only the best food and wine from the hotel’s kitchen, make love like honeymooners and  togged out in the best sking gear the empty shops have to offer spend their days skiing. They also bicker and reveal secrets they have kept from each other. Gradually they discover that they are needing to remind each other what something tastes like or feels like before they're able to experience it. This makes them relive some the best moments from their relationship. This magical story is about Zoe and Jake and what their relationship means to them, their shared memories which grow more poignant as their life in their snowy prison grows more uncertain.
 
There is a growing unease that something is coming…..
 
….phantom voices on a mobile phone that doesn’t have a signal, hallucinations, frightening dreams and delusions, a visitation from Jake's long-dead dog.
 
Gradually they are forced to confront the frightening truth about their silent land.
 
The Silent Land is a novella, only 256 pages but you really have to force yourself to slow down and read without rushing to the end, it’s atmospheric, haunting and emotionally intense.
 
“You’ll laugh, albeit nervously; you’ll cry, unless you’re completely heartless; you’ll give your nearest and dearest hugs without really being able to explain why you’re so glad to see them – really, what more do you want from a novel” SFX