When her mother dies, Hanna returns to her childhood home. She has a sense of being outside herself and doubts everything she once believed. The narrative follows Hanna as she grows up, and dwells on how she feels about being alone with her mother, who has three different incarnations: Crow, Nightbird and Mummy. Hanna shares secrets with Crow, but Nightbird is a dark, frightening creature. Of the three, she likes Mummy best. But she is torn between her loyalty to her mother and her father's insistence that everything should be nice and orderly; her problems with friends have to be kept hidden to prevent something dreadful from happening.
Nobody Must Hear the Silence is an utterly convincing tale of a childhood, told by the voice of a child who, again and again, has to compromise between her loyalty to her parents and her own happiness.
English sample translation available