"If there are few moments in life that come as clear and as pure as ice, when the mountain breathed back at her, Zoe knew she had trapped one such moment and it could never be taken away. Everywhere was snow and silence. Snow and silence; the complete arrest of life; a rehearsal for and a pre-echo of death."
Zoe and her husband, Jake, are skiing in the French Pyrenees when they are caught in an avalanche. Zoe is buried in snow, struggling to dig herself out. Then, like a miracle, Jake finds her. Together they make their way down the mountain. Only when they get to their hotel no one is there. The nearby town is deserted, too. Zoe and Jake can't figure out where all the other people went, or why. And every time they try to leave to get help, they find themselves right back where they started. Still, it's not too bad having this winter wonderland all to themselves. And they still have each other. But all is not right. Especially when Jake guesses the truth about their situation; something Zoe doesn't want to believe.
This novel by Graham Joyce ended up being a completely different kind of story than I was expecting. (Though I did guess the truth about Zoe's and Jake's situation before they did.) The Silent Land is not quite a supernatural fantasy, mystery or horror story, although it does have elements of all three. And it's that intriguing mix of elements, combined with a more introspective look at death and life and love, that makes this book such an interesting read. I wish I could tell you more, but I don't want to give anything away. This is the kind of book every reader should discover for herself. I can't guarantee you'll like it, though I did, but I can say that it is one of those thoughtful books that will linger in your mind when you're done.