The Silence Project by Carole Hailey – Blog Tour Review

Title: The Silence Project

Author: Carole Hailey

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Corvus

Publication Date: 9th February 2023

Rating: 4/5



Monster. Martyr. Mother.

On Emilia Morris’s thirteenth birthday, her mother Rachel moves into a tent at the bottom of their garden. From that day on, she never says another word. Inspired by her vow of silence, other women join her and together they build the Community. Eight years later, Rachel and thousands of her followers around the world burn themselves to death.

In the aftermath of what comes to be known as the Event, the Community’s global influence quickly grows. As a result, the whole world has an opinion about Rachel – whether they see her as a callous monster or a heroic martyr – but Emilia has never voiced hers publicly. Until now.

When she publishes her own account of her mother’s life in a memoir called The Silence Project, Emilia also decides to reveal just how sinister the Community has become. In the process, she steps out of Rachel’s shadow once and for all, so that her own voice may finally be heard.


I was so intrigued by the premise of The Silence Project and overall I have to say it really held up to its promise! The story is basically a book within a book – with the narrative coming from the daughter of the leader of the cult-like ‘community’ that stages a devastatingly cataclysmic ‘event’. I loved this way of structuring the story – it felt like reading nonfiction in a sense and I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t real.

Emilia is an informative and measured narrator as she tells the reader about her hugely infamous mother and the titular silence project and I felt all of her conflicting emotions with a forcefulness that is one of the book’s greatest strengths. There is also a fascinating exploration of the difference between a cult and a movement, a hero and a villain, and a martyr and a murderer. I felt the first half of the book was the more powerful overall – but I would highly recommend picking this thought provoking novel up – it is original, smart and will linger in your mind for a long time as you try to work out how you feel about Rachel of Chalkham and her actions.


Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.

Buy the book:

Waterstones | Blackwell’s | Amazon

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