I enjoy a good historical. And I love a good mystery. Beyond the Silence
gives readers the best of both with a dose of added romance. Lillian wants to do something that matters, and when she accepts a job as a nanny, her grandfather disowns her. There’s no coming back. When her train finally takes her all the way to California, she is confronted with information that her new employer may not be who he seems. All she knows for sure is that there is a little boy who desperately needs her and she feels called to help him.
Woodward Colton has been accused of terrible things, but the judge cleared him. Too bad the people in his town won’t do the same. He’s broken from tragedy and wondering if he can ever clear his name. Lillian brings comfort and disruption to his home. Then strange things begin happening again and he wonders if he can protect those around him again.
A strength in Beyond the Silence
is the way the characters and setting jumped into my mind fully formed. The descriptions centered me in the locale and I was there with Lillian. Each character also had depth: they weren’t mere cutouts put on the scene to fill space. Instead, they had pain and joy, they were sympathetic (except the villain) and real. There are subplots that added dimensions to the story as well. There also were the mysterious elements that kept the pages turning — I wouldn’t call the first half suspenseful, but the pace did build.
All in all Beyond the Silence
is a really enjoyable read, and I recommend it for those who love a historical set in the late 1800s and who appreciate a romance with a good mystery/suspense thread.
The shadows over this olive grove hide more than just the truth.
Lillian Porter has always wanted to fulfill her mother’s dream of going west, so when she hears about a nanny position in Angels Camp, California, she defies her grandfather and takes a chance on a new future. But she quickly wonders if she made the right choice. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know.
Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. But the Colton olive farm is no longer a safe place. Lillian encounters suspicious characters on their land and mysterious damage done to the farm. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once again suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love–or will it endanger her even more?
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Beyond the Silence (Bethany House, January 2016)