Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Published by Dutton Books
Published on May 26th 2015
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Young Adult
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I’m the daughter of murdered parents.
I’m the friend of a dead girl.
I’m the lover of my enemy.
And I will have my revenge.
In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.
Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.
(This review was originally posted over at YA Books Central.)
“There’s no better feeling than the deliciousness of a well-crafted plan executed perfectly.”
Actually, it’s more like: ‘There’s no better feeling than reading a well-crafted story that is so good, it takes your breath away’. This is the feeling one might get whilst reading the brilliance that was Daughter of Deep Silence.
What I Loved:
This book is an absolute page-turner. The writing grips you from the first line, to the last page, and keeps you on the edge of your seat steadily throughout.
Daughter of Deep Silence is comprised of all the nitty gritty that you’d come to expect with a dark and twisted tale of vengeance. There are plot twists that will leave your head spinning, and your heart racing.
“And in that moment, staring at myself, despising myself, wishing myself dead, one word began glowing in the back of my mind. The only brightness in the black I’d plunge myself into.
Another, darker word followed quickly after.
This story was driven by the intensity of Frances’ (the female protagonist) relentless search for justice. She has a score to settle, and she is willing to do whatever it takes to exact revenge. She’s strong, she’s captivating, she’s fearless and daring—she is the lifeblood of this book.
“I am nothing except this: a girl reborn of the deep ocean silence, meant for nothing but vengeance.”
Frances is the type of character that leaps right off the page to haunt your dreams at night.
“It’s funny, most people think that revenge is a passionate affair, driven by rage and pain. But it can’t be. Feelings such as these make you weak. They overwrite thought and cause reckless impulses that lead to poor decisions.
If anything, revenge is the absence of emotion. It’s pure, calculated thought stripped bare of entangling emotions. It’s cold, deliberate action.”
What Left Me Wanting More:
The last page. Though this story was jam-packed with danger, drama, and intrigue, the ending left me frantically searching for more words. That’s not to say the ending is not satisfying; you’ll find that you’re not ready for it to end.
Daughter of Deep Silence will thrill you, enthrall you, and leave you with some serious trust issues. The plot packs a serious punch, and this is story-telling at it’s finest.
(This would be a perfect read for fans of Sara Shepherd’s Pretty Little Liars.)
Daughter of Deep Silence Questions:
What inspired you to write this story?
My husband was learning French and one night we watched the Gerard Depardieu version of The Count of Monte Cristo. Though I’d read it in high school, this time the story really stuck with me and led me to watch the other versions. Then I was visiting my friend Ally Carter, and she introduced me to the TV shows Arrow and Revenge (which tracks almost perfectly to The Count of Monte Cristo). That night I asked myself what it was about these stories that stuck with me so much, and came up with: someone who is lost (preferably at sea) and who returns “home” under the guise of a hidden identity in order to carry out an intricate revenge plot. Emotionally what appealed to me was how often in revenge stories the protagonist is given a second chance at what they lost (usually love) but to take it they have to give up on the quest for revenge that’s become their sole identity.
When I came downstairs the next morning, I told Ally my idea and she said: “Yes! Write that!!” So I did. Which is one of the reasons the book is dedicated to her :)
There are some scenes where Libby/Frances describes in vivid detail what it was like to survive being adrift at sea for seven days. What was your research process for this? And what was the most disturbing/interesting thing you may have learned while gathering info for this story?
I tried really hard to fit all the disturbing information in – lol. I’m fascinated by survival stories and have done a lot of research into what those sorts of extreme experiences do to your body. One of the most disturbing details of being lost at sea is the blood tears – that’s a true thing. Something I found interesting is that you actually can drink salt water – you just have to be careful how much of it you drink.
There are some pretty dark and twisted things that happen in this. How would you gear up for writing certain scenes? Did you have a playlist, or a routine to get you “into the zone”? Did you ever find yourself needing to watch Disney movies afterwards to counteract the dark feels?
I definitely take that as a compliment :). I really love writing the emotionally intense scenes – they’re my favorite! Usually before I write a big scene I’ll have daydreamed about it for a while – it’s almost like it’s a movie in my head and I’m just transcribing it. There’s also something cathartic about writing a scene like that because you get all the dark feels out. But I’d still throw on Pitch Perfect every now and again anyway :)
What are 3 words you’d use to describe Daughter of Deep Silence?
Revenge. Angst. Luxe.
Which do you find the hardest to write, the first or the last line of your novel? Why?
I feel more pressure on the first line when drafting because it sets the whole tone for the book. It’s especially difficult when it’s a new project with a new world and voice because the first line is where you make all the decisions about point of view, starting point, voice, etc. If you don’t nail it, readers will book your book down. That’s a lot to ask of a line!
Which comes first in your writing process, the title, or the content of you story? (Do you always know what your book’s title is going to be?)
For most of my books the title has come first (and for all of those, my husband and co-author, JP Davis, was the one to come up with the title). But for Daughter of Deep Silence it was the opposite. It took forever to come up with a title and for a long time I called it Turnabout. It wasn’t until I went digging back through my notes and stumbled across the quote from Vittorio Alfieri (“Deep vengeance is the daughter of deep silence.”) that I found the right title for this one. But as soon as I saw it, I knew it was perfect in so many ways!
Let’s talk character names. How do you go about selecting names for characters in your book? Do the names you pick have any significance to you, or do you ever feel inspired by a name?
I try to pick names that evoke the kind of sub-conscious first impression I want the reader to have for my characters. To me, Frances is sort of a grown-up feeling name, a serious, more old-fashioned one (which may be because it’s my grandmother’s name). And as a character, Frances is a bit more reserved – a wallflower in some ways. Libby, on the other hand, feels more modern and vibrant – she’s the girl Frances longs to be. I’d always known Shepherd’s name (and the story behind it), and I picked Grey because I thought it was a strong, if uncommon, southern name (also the idea of the grey areas in truth and lies). His last name, Wells, has the water connotation, which is a theme in the book.
But really, it’s a process of me spinning through names in my head until one of them feels right. And I love planting clues through names – folks who figured out my naming conventions in The Forest of Hands and Teeth were able to guess a spoiler long before I revealed it.
How do you plot your books, do you write it down on paper/index cards/etc, or do you write on the fly? Do you ever find that your plot changes as you write, or does it stay pretty close to how you planned it?
I’m more of a road trip writer – I generally know where I’m starting, where I’m going, a few landmarks along the way, but not the exact route. As I’m writing, I see about as far ahead in the book as a car driving at night with the headlights on – so as I move forward, I see more, but not all of it. And as I’m drafting, almost anything is up for grabs – I’ve made huge changes in a plot mid-draft.
Which all is to say, I tend to do a lot of work in the revision stage – running the various plot threads through, tightening thing, reworking parts. That’s the stage when I pull out the notecards or the white board and look at things super critically (in fact, here’s a link to a pic of my revision notecards for Daughter of Deep Silence: http://www.carrieryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Daughter-plot-outline-blurred.jpg)
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
I realized that I don’t actually have a bucket list! Hmmm… I’d love to design my own house one day (I’ve daydreamed about it many times, but I rarely get past designing the library – lol). I think sailing around the world would be amazing. I’d love to be able to rent a house large enough for my entire family so we could spend a month just all hanging out together.
If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Cheese. All of it.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
Wait, there is such a thing?! I like to read a lot and lately have been catching up on old TV shows (my current binge: Castle).
What are the last 3 books you enjoyed reading?
Omega City by Diana Peterfreund
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
All Fall Down by Ally Carter
This or That?
Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset. I like sleep too much for the sunrise!
Coffee or Tea?
Tea. Cold and sweet :)
Hot or Cold?
Hot. Born and raised in South Carolina – I’m used to the heat!
PC or Mac?
Mac. I’ve been an Apple girl since my dad brought home an Apple IIe when I was five.
Half-empty or Half-full?
Half full. Or at least I try anyway.
Autumn or Spring?
Spring. Ever since I went to college in Massachusetts I’ve become a massive fan of Spring! The flowers! The sun! The end of winter!
Summer or Winter?
Summer – no school! Even though it’s been years since I had a summer vacation, that feeling of freedom and possibility always hits as summer tilts into full swing.
E-book or Print Book? (Preferred reading)
Depends what I’m reading :) I tend to read YA friends in hardcover (so I can then add their books to my collection) and adult in eBook (unless I’m passing it on to my mom).
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