I just finished an audiobook in the car with my kids. Well, it’s a long series of books called the Unwanteds and we just finished the third book. My son picked it up in the library one day (on the cover it says ‘The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter’ … who wouldn’t love that!) and he wanted to take a listen. 3 audiobooks later, and we’re hooked … and the voiceover work is awesome too (for any of you out there with kids who are audiobook addicts like mine, I recommend it, though my kids are young for some of the themes, it’s no more than any Grimm’s fairytale.)In the latest book, there are two characters who come from an island called The Island of Silence. They have thorns with wire sewed into their necks and make no sound whatsoever. It’s a dark kind of magic for sure, and so compelling!
I’ve been listening to this audiobook while I’ve been editing my own book, The Storyteller’s Throne. One of the characters in The Storyteller’s Throne loses his voice when his world splits open. He has to find ways to connect, to communicate and to develop his other gifts in order to heal his heart without his voice in the Shadow World.
This idea of not having a voice, of losing your ability to communicate with your voice, it intrigues me, not only as an arts therapist and a mother who is constantly using non-verbal cues) but the idea of silence as a punishment vs a gift.
Don’t get me wrong … I don’t want to lose my voice, but what can we gain from needing to find alternate ways to be with one another and to communicate, what can we learn from the silence? It’s a landscape rich in human behavior when you have two characters, one that cannot speak and another who can.
It’s been awesome and somewhat synchronistic to be listening to the Island of Silence while editing my book.
Tell me what your thoughts are on the idea of silence as a punishment vs a gift in the comments below. I’d love to hear your opinions.