BEYOND THE SILENCE
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. There are rumors in town that her new employer, Woodward Colton, caused the death of his wife. This accusation doesn't match the man Lillian comes to know--and Mrs. Goodman, Woody's long-time housekeeper, is decisively on Woody's side--but many in town stay far away from Lillian because of her association with the Colton family.
Lillian's six-year-old charge, Jimmy, was there when his mother died, and he hasn't spoken a word since. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he'll one day feel safe enough to tell her the truth about what happened. 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. Will Mrs. Goodman and Jimmy be able to speak what they know in time to save Lillian from tragedy?
Argh! Most despicable sheriff in the West. And the townsfolk aren't much better. My stomach roiled every time they were in a scene and I wanted to take them all to task. Luckily Lillian, for all that she's led a sheltered life, stood up to the scoundrels. Took the words right out of my mouth, as a matter of fact. Her willingness to stand up against a crowd of vicious gossip mongers made me a fan. You go girl! The warning against gossip and passing judgements is the clear message in this story but it felt exaggerated in places and the resolution seemed abrupt and unrealistic to me.
Multiple points of view made the read interesting. The villain's viewpoint is menacing, little Jimmy's is heartrending and sweet Harry, a young man with a child-like mind is so sweet and pure. He is by far my favourite character of all. The authors masterfully weave these unique story threads together culminating in an action-packed climax.
A sweet romance, clouded by looming danger kept me turning pages. Woody is raw and vulnerable and so very lost. I love his willingness to take his fears and worries to the Lord; to backtrack and apologize when he lashes out in pain. He's been going through the motions since his wife's murder and only begins to realize that once Lillian appears on the scene.
Lillian is a breath of fresh air. She brings a fresh perspective to this wounded little family and begins to work miracles in short order. A satisfying mix of thwarted romance and sinister treachery make for a very enjoyable read.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. in exchange for my honest review.
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