Genres: Southern Historical Fiction
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It Happened In Silence by Karla M. Jay
Set in a world where women of the KKK betray their neighbors, horrors of unscrupulous foundling homes come to light, and buried mysteries are not all that hidden. It’s 1921 in Georgia. Mute since birth, fifteen-year-old Willow Stewart has one task to complete—to leave her Appalachian homestead and find a traveling preacher and her brother, Briar. When a peddler kidnaps her, she escapes only to face an unjust arrest and penal servitude. The laws are not on her side. Or her brother’s. Briar is serving time on a chain gang with four months left. When an immigrant boy asks him for help, Briar must decide if he should jeopardize his freedom to help the penniless boy. Soon Willow and Briar become ensnared in a world of cruel secrets, savage truths, deceitful practices, and desperate predicaments. This is a powerful tale of family, a celebration of decency, and the heartbreak of society’s injustices then that rings true today. This novel delves into the gut and sinew of fairness, probing often inexplicable questions, as old and persistent as the forest itself.
Come and take an authentic birds-eye-view on this two month excursion into Georgia in 1921. Karla M. Jay has created wonderful characters and a spectacular ambiance that brings a well-researched era into a rainbow of life. It Happened In Silence is a captivating and page-turning southern historical read.
It is hard to believe some of the awful things that have happened in history, young girls sold into slavery, the killing of infants, the KKK, chain gangs and so much more. All these topics are touched on in this gripping suspenseful story. Karla M. Jay has a magnificent master of the pen, her writing flows with ease and is beautifully melodic and descriptive. As soon as I read the line ‘It surely is a gift from God that a mute girl should own a horse that’s pert and pushy’ I knew I was in for a good read. The story comes from the point of view of three main characters. Willow is a fifteen-year-old mute, her brother Briar is a convicted felon, and Ardith Dobbs is a villain you will love to hate. The story starts with Willow’s mother giving birth to a boy who dies, while she lies on death’s door. Willow is sent to the nearest town to fetch the preacher. What happens over the next six weeks is jaw-dropping and tense. If you are not white, male and rich then basically anything could happen to you. Corruption runs throughout the land and Willow and Briar will both need to raise above it to survive. If you enjoy books that bring history to life you are going to love this book, as each page transports you to the exuberant and colorful world of America in the 1920s.
Like taking a plaster off a wound, we peer into the atrocities of the past and cringe from the raw injustice that was heaped upon slaves, women and the poor. Well-researched content is dropped with precision into this timeless tale of fighting injustice, enhancing a gripping historical suspense that had me racing towards the end, hoping against hope for that happy ending. I was not disappointed. With authoritative prose and a compelling plot, It Happened In Silence by Karla M. Jay comes highly recommended by Chick Lit Café. Book reviewed T N Traynor for Chick Lit Café.
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