My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In The Silent Fountain by Victoria Fox, two woman with dark pasts find their lives intertwined in an Italian villa that used to be a sanatorium. Vivien is a former Hollywood movie star trying to navigate a rocky relationship between her husband, her sister-in-lawtand herself while hiding from an abusive past. Lucy has come to work for Vivien has a means to escape a scandal back home in England. Their parallel lives start to unravel as the truth of what happened at the fountain is exposed.
Lucy’s Description of the Fountain:
“There is one thing I’m omitting from this view, the thing I came past earlier and that I’m reluctant even now to acknowledge. The fountain by the entrance, set amid a dozen cypress trees, appears gloomier now the sun has fallen. I don’t know why it’s such a horrible thing. The protruding shape I detected earlier is an ugly stone fish, eyes bloated, scales crusted, its open mouth gasping air, fossilised mid-leap as if cast under a terrible spell. The trees don’t help either, standing guard, their spears raised– and perhaps that’s all it is, the notion that there is something cosseted within that requires protection, something beyond the decaying stone and stagnant water…”
The Character You Love to Hate:
Professor Umbridge, Lord Voldemort, and Amarantha- there are so many villains we love to hate. Vivien’s sister-in-law, Isabella, is evil, maniacal, and manipulative all wrapped up with a shiny bow. The things she would do to Vivien had me in a fury! She’s that one character you want to punch in the face. Fox’s good writing incites emotions.
Salvatore’s (the butler) description of the fountain: “The water will get you,” he says. “The water gets everyone.”
Transitions, flashbacks, and cliffhangers- oh my!
The chapters go back and forth between present day and Vivien’s life in the 1970’s. The chapters blend together so smoothly that Vivien and Lucy’s lives seem parallel. Each chapter leaves off with a cliffhanger and had me demanding more details, but then the author would which storylines, and I would have to wait a chapter or two to find out more. Every chapter left me wanting more.
I recommend this book for fans of V. C. Andrews because the writing is so spectacularly creepy. There is even a spooky west wing like in Beauty and the Beast. This story combines a lot of genres so fans of historical fiction, mystery, and young adult fiction will all enjoy this novel. Readers who do not necessarily need a happy ending will enjoy this book.
Lucy’s description of the fire: “The fountain glares at me, seeming to pulse with an answer.”