The Quiet and the Loud
Helena Fox
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia
ISBN: 9781760983024
Awards Year: 2024
Category: Book of the Year: Older Readers



A novel about the contours of friendship, family, forgiveness, trauma and love that explores the stories we suppress and the stories we speak - and the healing that comes when we voice the things we've kept quiet for so long.

George's life is loud. On the water, though, with everything hushed above and below, she is steady, silent. Then her estranged dad says he needs to talk, and George's past begins to wake up, looping around her ankles, trying to drag her under.

Everything is a blaring, blazing mess. Could Calliope, the girl who has just cartwheeled into George's world and shot it through with brilliant, dazzling colour, be her calm among the chaos?

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The CBCA judges say...

A multi-layered coming of age story that explores big themes, grounded with some solid characters and a realistic setting. There is a lot to unpack in this story with issues of climate change and trauma impact sitting at the fore. Elements of mental health, alcoholism, friendship and first love also form a large part of the storyline with a solid LGBTQI+ focus. These elements are all masterfully weaved into the plot and are given space and relevance. The use of art throughout the story is significant as it counters some of the big issues discussed by offering healing and empowerment. The story is balanced with well-drawn primary and secondary characters, exploring the dynamics of friendship and family. The language is rich, making this a vivid and real read that will resonate with the upper end of the young adult readership.


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A Reading Time reviewer says...

The Quiet and the Loud is an evocative, emotional novel with complex characters and a messy yet relatable and challenging storyline. Fox looks at the rocky beginnings of young adulthood. She openly confronts various mental health issues that appear in society while also depicting the typical struggles of new school graduates finding their feet and discovering their places in the world. This novel is not an easy read but one worth your while...


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