My Thoughts About Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball (Book Review #22)


(My own copy of the book)

I am always fascinated with novels with Japanese characters set on a Japanese setting and upon reading the synopsis of the book I know I have to get it. I was not disappointed.

The novel was written on the authors perspective surrounding his investigation regarding the Narito Disappearances in 1978, which involves the disappearance of 11 people, while the author is also trying to look for answers regarding the sudden disconnection of his wife. The suspect, Oda Sotatsu, confessed to the job but due to unknown reasons he refused to speak to anyone during the period of his trial which the cover depicts.

“In searching for a way out of my own troubles, I had found my way into the trouble of others, some long gone, and now I was trying to find my way back out, through their troubles, as if we human beings can ever learn from one another.”
― Jesse Ball, Silence Once Begun

The novel is written in notes made during his interview with Sotatsu’s relatives, friends and those whom he had interaction with before he was executed.

You’re in for a puzzle treat when you read the book. You’ll got through the different perspective of the story from the different characters and you won’t know who’s telling the truth. It tackled how silence could mean many things and how would someone interpret it. Talking about fate and how the Oda played with it.

The novel is pretty straightforward. An easy read. It just became too dragging for me during the last few pages. I like how the ending became too sudden and as the true story came up. 4.5/5 stars for me.

“I believe in discovering the love that exists and then trying to understand it. Not to invent a love and try to make it exist, but to find what does exist, and then to see what it is.”
― Jesse Ball, Silence Once Begun

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