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The story alternates between three time-lines - George's wooing of Gwen in the 1940s, their life in the outback with their young children in the 1960s and the present-day with daughter Joy returning to the family farm to look after dying father, all tied in with the disappearance of Joy's young friend in the 1960s.  .Harrowing, child abuse, domestic violence all hidden from public view  Views of life in rural Australia are believable for their times - remotes, close communities, resilient and self sufficient. Well-written and well-characterised. Good twist at the end.  Just not totally my cup of tea. Thanks to NetGalley and  Joffe Books for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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The story is set in rural Australia. It is dark and absolutely gripping. It made for a super read! This is the first novel by this author and I cannot wait until she releases another. 
There are 3 different timelines embedded within this book alongside different points of view. 

This story is centred around family. A family with dark secrets - everyone seems to be hiding something! 

We see George and Gwen’s life beginning in the 1940’s. In the 60’s the children arrive and we see George dying in the 80’s - this is the main bulk of the book.
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I cannot believe how many excellent debuts I have read lately and this is another one.
Set in rural outback Australia over 3 different decades, it’s starts with Joy Henderson being informed of her fathers death and the need for her to return to the farm to finalise things. Her father, George was a pillar of the church and the community, loved by everyone. What they didnt know was that he was the worst father possible. His children, Mark and Joy and to an extent his wife, lived in fear of him. Any tiny indiscretion led to 15 lashes of his belt and buckle.
The children when not at church work hard on the farm and in the house, and are constantly verbally and physically abused. 
So when Joy finds her father dead with the very belt he used on the her, around his neck, she rings the police. Senior Constable Alex Shepherd, isn’t convinced that Joy is innocent and suspects she is pulling him into her cleverly thought out lie.
I loved all three time frames that the book revolves around, the 1940s when Joys parents met, their whirlwind marriage and the subsequent realisation by Gwen that her husband isnt who she thought he was. The 1960s when Joy narrates her life as an 11 year old with her brother Mark and awful tyranny of her father, and the present being the 1980s when she plays the cat and mouse game with Alex Shepherd.
Scattered through Joys story is the disappearance of her friend Wendy Boscombe, in the 1960s although she is never found Joy is certain her father killed her.
Some twists In the book were predictable as was the main twist at the end but there were other discoveries I hadn’t thought of and the happy ending I expected didn’t happen. A great read that had me hooked from start to finish.

#netgalley #thenightlistener
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This book goes back and forth from the 40's 60's and 80's.
And starts in the year 1983 Joy Henderson's father passes away it's a relief and a revenge the belt is still dangling from her hand. George Henderson has gone to his maker this is the happiest day of her life, she stays in control and arranges everything then get's on with her life.
The book then takes us back to 1942 the beginning of the Henderson family story.
This is such a one powerful read that is not for the faint hearted, it will chill your bones reading, a completely different read for me but had to carry on right to the end of the story.
an exceptional good read.
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Unusual story recounting the sad life of the God fearing Henderson family.  Set in Australia, told from daughter Joy's point of view, how her father George Henderson brought them up in a climate of fear and anger, whilst appearing to be a model citizen to the community.
Set against a backdrop of everyday life, something sinister is lurking and the suspense slowly builds to a crescendo which I could never have anticipated.
Well worth a read.

Thanks to Joffe Books and NetGalley for my digital copy.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this ARC.
5 Stars! 
Highly recommend. 
It was hard to put this book down. Well written, well plotted, engaging characters.
The Silent Listener is a disquieting tale of a dysfunctional family, draped in tension and dread.
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I found this just OK. The storyline was interesting but I found myself at times just wanting to get to the end. I do think the character development was good, and really felt how Joy was feeling throughout
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THE SILENT LISTENER by Lyn Yeowart   Portions of the book are hard to read due to the brutality towards the Joy and Mark and Gwen by the two faced monster, George.  There a number of light hearted moments, Robert Larson's  a fine lemming meringue pie and other mixed up descriptions,  the Felicities and their welcoming of Joy's visits and Colin's love for his elderly kitty.  The writing is impressive and the character and story development are masterful.  Must say that I have never been too fond of eels and the author's descriptions of the eels were vivid enough to make me uncomfortable.   The ending was a surprise and unexpected.  

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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If you are looking for a suspenseful, unputdownable page-turner, this book is for you.
Each turn of the page leaves you not wanting to put this book down as there are twists and turns that uncover more about this family's history.
The writing holy WoW y'all! Amazing! Truly a remarkable book! Looking forward to reading more by Lyn! She's a dynamite!
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My God this book was good. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Very intense because of a domineering father/husband who beat his children mercilessly while on the outside behaving like a community minded God fearing Christian.

His daughter is mainly the one telling the story and there are a few surprises along the way.

This reminded me of Jane Harper's books and will be the book I most recommend this year. My review is not describing this book adequately but please read it. Incredibly good story telling.
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This story will stick with you, long after you finish reading it. The Silent Listener is a dark and intense story set in three different time periods centering around the Henderson family and the disappearance of Wendy Boscombe. The switching from decade to decade adds to the suspense of the book; however, this book is a bit of a slow burn with the first half of the book dragging. The subject matter is dark and heartbreaking – this book will not be everyone’s cup of tea but if you stick around to the end, there are plenty of twists and turns as we learn what really happened in the Henderson household. 

Thank you, NetGalley and Joffe Books for my copy.
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Joy has had a tragic life which is detailed in this very gripping story.  It begins with Gwen, Joy's mother, meeting and marrying George and then switches between the early years of their marriage, Joy's childhood and the present day.  It is a story of traumatic abuse and how that impacts on the mind of a young child.

George is a domineering character who rules his house strictly using violence to maintain control.  Gwen and the children fear him with good reason.  But George is a religious man and an active member of the church so to all the other villagers he is a wonderful caring man which leaves his family alone to cope with the violence.

A very interesting story with characters that develop well.  The story has many twists and turns that are totally unexpected and the suspense builds all the way to the end.

A very interesting and enjoyable read.
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This one was a slow burner for me to start with and I felt the graphic child abuse scenes distressing at times however it kept me gripped and I had to know the ending... and the ending was well worth the wait! Wow!

Overall enjoyed reading but had to have a few breaks in between chapters.
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This was a very graphic book and made uncomfortable reading at times. I’m not sure if that’s what the author set out to achieve but it definitely set a haunting scene of ingrained abuse. The author writes very well and realistically.
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** spoiler alert ** 4.25 stars

I really enjoy this type of book,and I'm not sure what that says about me.
Dark,intense,tension filled.
This one felt incredibly raw too... the character of Joy,so at pain in every stage of her life... growing up with her abusive father,and later coming back to look after him as he was dying.
I think it says a lot for the author that I felt sympathy for Gwen ,the mother too... caught up in a situation she didn't understand,and powerless to protect her children.
There was an actual moment I uttered a sad "oh" at one reveal,making it very clear how much I was invested in Joy's story.

Tugged at a lot of emotions.
Always a sign of an excellent book.
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The Silent Listener was not only about a dysfunctional family, but a family where the husband and father brutalized, terrorized and traumatized the wife and children in the far reaches of the Outback in Australia.

Because there were so many 4 & 5* reviews, I kept reading, hoping for a shimmer of light.  But by 25% could only see that the story was delving more and more into darkness and depravity.  Consequently, I closed the book at that point.

I appreciate this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher, Penguin Books, in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Lyn Yeowart for a copy of this title.
A heart-wrenching story that leaves you guessing right until the last pages. Loved it.
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5 stars

In 1942 a young woman named Gwen meets George at a local dance. After a whirlwind romance, they marry. He takes her out to his home. It is a ramshackle place in a very isolated area of Australia. The problems start almost immediately, but Gwen refuses to see them for what they are. George is a tightwad with a ferocious temper. 

Along come children: Mark is the eldest and Joy comes next. Then there is the most enigmatic Ruth. 

Life on the farm is very hard. If it is not drowning in mud, it is hotter than heck and the land withers under the sun. 

This book is primarily Joy's story. The reader learns about her daily life, trials and hardships. Her unique relationship with sister Ruth, her beloved brother Mark, her somewhat distant mother and of course, her devastating relationship with her father. 

When she receives a phone call years after she has left the farm behind asking her to come back to take care of her dying father she agrees. Her mother died years earlier. She has lost track of Mark and she hasn't seen Ruth since she left home at age sixteen. Besides, Joy is determined to seek revenge on her father and this rules her life and the very decisions she makes. Perhaps now IS the time to return.

The chess game with Senior Constable Alex begins.

I loved the way that Joy learned the meaning of words and saw everything in pictures. I learn the same way and this is the first time I've ever seen it described in a novel. (Although the way I remember is not as Joy's.) There are many surprises in this book. It is hard to read in places. George was such a monster. 

The novel is beautifully written. Ms. Yeowart's choice of words is wonderful. The transitions are very smooth. I appreciate the way it switches back and forth in time. It gave me the feeling that I was witnessing the action all at the same time. I really enjoyed this book, and hoe to read more of Ms. Yeowart's novels soon. 

I want to thank NetGalley and Joffe Books for forwarding to me a copy of this most wonderful book for me to read, enjoy and review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
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For a debut novel, this is possibly one of the most artfully written books I’ve read in the past twelve months.  The vocabulary, metaphors and symbolism used by the Author throughout is highly impressive to say the least.  It draws you in and gets under your skin to the point where you literally cannot put it down, needing to find out how the story ends.    

The novel moves between three time-periods – the 1940s where we meet George and Gwen Henderson beginning their marital journey setting up a dairy farm in Australia.  Then we move to the 1960s and to their daughters, Joy and Ruth Henderson, where we find George, a pillar of the community and devout Christian who expects the same of his God-fearing children.  However, Ruth is unable to leave the house as she was disfigured in a tragic accident that no one dares speak about.  Then we move to the 1980s where Joy returns to her childhood home to care for their, now elderly, dying father.  Having left home at the age of 16, she wants to return to demand some truths from her father and make him pay for her horrific upbringing.  

The Author immediately creates an emotional connection with the reader and every era is intensely gripping as the Author describes how the girls, their mother and brother dealt with the terror they suffered at the hands of their father.  It is written with such awe-inspiring flair especially from the perspective of Joy and her fears which is so powerful adding layer upon layer of emotion.   

The twists and turns come thick and fast and at times I was stunned about every revelation.  Some of the most touching chapters involve Joy going round to her friend Felicity’s house where she observes the love of a ‘normal’ family.  

Despite Joy, Mark and Ruth’s abusive childhood, the story moves along in a light and shade manner, and one of the highlights is Joy’s description of the eels in her stomach which is perfect metaphorically for how she feels under the surface and is depicted so beautifully.  

This is a heart-warming story of love, friendship, loyalty, family, trust and ultimate heartache wrapped up in an exceptional psychological thriller.    

This has got to be one of my top 5 books over the last five years and I would highly recommend it.  I look forward to more wonderful things from this talented Author.
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It's somewhat ironic the protagonist is named Joy when there's so little of it in this book. 
This one was a difficult one to rate as I want to give it both 5 stars for being an incredibly moving, intense and dark read - but I found it very difficult to read. I wouldn't want to mark it down for a difficult subject matter but I can't say I would rush to recommend it to my friends and family as it makes for uncomfortable reading in its detailed descriptions of abuse.  It's so well written though that I found myself incredibly sad for them and angry at their Father on their behalf. I do think this book will stay with me for a long time to come but I haven't yet worked out if  it's for the right reasons. A very thought provoking read all the same!
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