STORM AND SILENCE BOOK REVIEW
What happens when a young woman, passionate about the suffragette movement, dresses like a man to sneak into the polls in 19th Century London? If you’re 19-year-old Lillian (Lilly) Linton, you get caught and thrown in jail overnight, but not before being offered a job by the richest man in London, Mr. Rikkard Ambrose. The job offer comes to you when you’re disguised as a man, of course.
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However, when her new employer sees her arrested and discovers she is a woman, he is less inclined to hire her. Still, he gave his word and Lilly is determined to be in control of her life. Having a job would enable her to provide for herself, so she is determined to remain Mr. Ambrose’s secretary. He finally agrees, being a man of his word, under the condition that she pretend to be a man while at work, thus protecting his own reputation.
From there, Lilly is determined to get her employer to see her for who she really is and begins to work toward making herself as indispensable as possible while Mr. Ambrose tries to find a way to fire her. This leads to many funny moments of Lilly trying to be a man, or signing her office memos to her boss as Miss.
Soon, Lilly learns that the work that Mr. Ambrose does is shrouded in mystery and seems to be a little of everything. Things get more complicated, however, with the disappearance of a very important file from the safe. This leads to a manhunt for the former secretary, Mr. Simmons, who probably sold it to someone.
With the file missing that holds critical information, an anti-suffrage rally to protest, a little sister to prevent from eloping and an amorous suitor to dissuade, all while working full-time for a man who may or may not have her killed later, Lilly has her hands full. Things become more complicated when the charming Lord Dalgliesh arrives on the scene. Dalgliesh has a history with Lord Ambrose, and it seems like it is not a very pleasant one either; he seems like the Moriarty to Ambrose’s Holmes.
As the danger surrounding the hunt for the mysterious file increases, Mr. Ambrose becomes more determined than ever to fire Lilly and Lilly finds herself determined to not leave him, for reasons that she doesn’t really want to examine. As they hunt throughout London for the file, the dynamic of their relationship begins to change, ever so slightly. Will they find the file? Will Lilly prevent her sister from eloping? What was in that file? These questions and more are answered in Storm and Silence.
Lilly is a fantastic character; she’s plucky and bright, as well as protective of her younger sister, Ella. The voice she speaks in is a lot of fun; she’s candid and only likes part of her family, hates balls, and is determined to do what she thinks is best for herself and often ignores the orders of the men around her.
It’s also very entertaining to watch Lilly try to justify where she is all day as her family and friends get suspicious. She’s stubborn, but although it can be annoying, she’s still the character you root for. Her desire for independence is her defining trait, but she also grows and changes throughout the novel.
Lilly, although attracted to Mr. Ambrose from the get go, is turned off by his refusal to hire her as a woman and his attempts to goad her into quitting. She is also determined not to marry, as that would be the end of her freedom. In fact, she is angry at men in general for denying women the vote and is very vocal about her feelings. As the novel progresses, she begins to wonder if, maybe, she could start to develop feelings for a man without compromising her principles.
Mr. Ambrose was also a fascinating character, he reminded me of a cross between James Bond and Mr. Rochester. He is frugal and calculating, but he is brilliant, and, it seems that he might have a bit of a soft spot (though very reluctantly), for our heroine that develops through the novel. It’s a bit challenging to get a read on him, but that’s part of the character. Plus, if we’re seeing him through Lilly’s eyes, we know what she knows.
The romance is interesting because it doesn’t seem like the main point of the story to me. It feels like an accident, by which I mean that the characters didn’t mean to even begin to develop feelings for each other, but they did. While it doesn’t feel conventionally romantic, the moments that shine through were, to me, very sweet (which is why I rated it like I did). The two have a relationship built on banter, and while there is some grudging respect for the other, their relationship does not start out smoothly.
Storm and Silence is like Bridget Jones meets James Bond, and I mean that as a compliment.
I also appreciated the contrast between Lilly and Mr. Ambrose’s relationship and Ella and Edmund’s. Ella is Lilly’s sister and Edmund is the neighbor boy Ella loves. Ella and Edmund are much more the stereotypical leads of a forbidden romance story, which is interesting to see play out through the eyes of the very practical Lilly. It gives the story more romance, though, and that was fun.
Currently available on Wattpad, Storm and Silence will be officially published on March 19th, and will include bonus material not seen in the original text. It will be available on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble as a paperback book, and as an ebook from Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and Smashwords.
As a winner of the 2015 People’s Choice Award and the 2015 Story of the Year Award, Storm and Silence is a wonderful combination of humor, romance, mystery, and danger. Storm and Silence is like Bridget Jones meets James Bond, and I mean that as a compliment. If you are a fan of plucky heroines and dark, brooding leading men, you will probably enjoy Storm and Silence.
This book could work wonderfully as a film, as long as Robert Thier is very much involved. As far as actors go, I see Tom Hiddleston as Rikkard Ambrose, with Chris Evans as Lord Dalgliesh. I think that they played off of each other well in The Avengers, and it would be fun to see Chris Evans as the villain to Tom Hiddleston’s Byronic Hero. For Lilly, I pictured Amanda Fuller, who plays Kristen on Last Man Standing. She would also do the voice-overs, ala Bridget Jones’ Diary. So much of the humor of the film comes from Lilly’s very distinctive voice, and that is something that should transfer to the screen.
“You had me at hello.”
“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My
feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me
to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”
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5 thoughts on “YA Advanced Book Review: Storm and Silence – Bridget Jones Meets James Bond”
Well, doesn’t this sounds like an EPIC kind of story!? I’d never heard of it before now, but am definitely curious after this feature! Thanks for the amazing introduction, Bailey. 🙂
I really enjoyed it (reading it and writing it)! Thanks Rissi! Let me know what you think about it, if you get a chance to read it! It’s an intriguing story 🙂
I finally started this novel and I can’t put it down! I’ve heard great things about this story around the internet but I heard about it here first. Thanks for the review.