A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella – Blog Tour Review

Title: A Quiet Life

Author: Ethan Joella

Genre: Fiction

Publisher: Muswell Press

Publication Date: 23rd February 2023

Rating: ✶✶✶✶✶



Set in a close-knit suburb in the grip of winter, A Quiet Life follows three people grappling with loss and finding a tender wisdom in their grief. 

Chuck Ayers used to look forward to nothing so much as his annual trip to Hilton Head with his wife, Cat–that yearly taste of relaxation they’d become accustomed to after a lifetime of working and raising two children. Now, just months after Cat’s death, Chuck finds that he can’t let go of her belongings–her favorite towel, the sketchbooks in her desk drawer–as he struggles to pack for a trip he can’t imagine taking without her. 

Ella Burke delivers morning newspapers and works at a bridal shop to fill her days while she anxiously awaits news–any piece of information–about her missing daughter. Ella adjusts to life in a new apartment and answers every call on her phone, hoping her daughter will reach out. 

After the sudden death of her father, Kirsten Bonato set aside her veterinary school aspirations, finding comfort in the steady routine of working at an animal shelter. But as time passes, old dreams and new romantic interests begin to surface–and Kirsten finds herself at another crossroads.


I loved Ethan Joella’s previous book, A Little Hope, so I went into this one with high expectations and I’m happy to confirm they were more than met! The story follows three people in a small community that are struggling with loss and mired in grief. Their lives then begin to intersect in a multitude of ways.

I don’t know of many authors who can capture vulnerability and innate empathy quite the way Ethan Joella can. He just writes people so well and with so much graceful insight. The story is compelling of course, but the true beauty of A Quiet Life is in the humanity of these broken people going through the everyday cataclysmic traumas of life. This is often a heartbreaking read, it has to be said, but it errs away from being maudlin or depressing in any way and somehow manages to convey real hope in the darkness. If you are looking for a profoundly touching and genuinely beautifully read then I strongly suggest picking up A Quiet Life.


Thank you to Fiona and Muswell Press for inviting me on the blog tour and for providing a copy of the book. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.

Buy the book:

Blackwell’s | Waterstones | Amazon

One thought on “A Quiet Life by Ethan Joella – Blog Tour Review

  1. Carla says:

    This sounds like such an emotional and poignant story, but dealing with issues that are real and relatable. This is one of the recommendations for my 12 friends, 12 books challenge and I am now looking forward to it more than ever. Great review, Christine.


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