Laura Brandon, renowned astronomer, promised her dying father she would look after Sarah Tolley, a woman with no family who lived in a retirement homeLaura Brandon, renowned astronomer, promised her dying father she would look after Sarah Tolley, a woman with no family who lived in a retirement home. Despite the fact that she'd never heard of her and had no idea who she was or how her father knew her, Laura felt obligated to fulfill his dying request. However, when she told her husband, Ray, about it, he tried to dissuade her from doing it, shocking her with his uncharacteristic display of anger when she refused to reconsider. Ray accused Laura of giving too little of herself to him and her daughter, Emma, saying she was always rushing off to further her career, or taking on pet projects, and never spending enough time with her family. Laura is stunned and hurt by this, but thinks his upset most likely stems from his inability to publish a book he'd poured his heart into writing. Ray apologizes, but is still upset that she still plans to see Sarah Tolley.
Two weeks later, Ray asked her again to forget about seeing Sarah, but Laura goes anyway. She's hoping Sarah can tell her how her father came to know her, but that hope is dashed when Laura learns that Sarah is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She's further puzzled to learn that no one, not even her father, had ever visited Sarah. Left with more questions than answers, Laura leaves and returns home, where she is greeted by the sound of her daughter screaming. Emma is clearly traumatized, and Ray is nowhere to be found. Moments later, she discovers his body in the bedroom—Ray committed suicide while Laura was away.
Now, a grieving Laura must find the strength to help her little girl recover from the trauma that left her unwilling to speak, struggling with her own guilt about Ray's death and Emma's condition while at the same time trying to solve the mystery of Sarah Tolley. When six months have passed and Emma still isn't talking, Laura is persuaded to contact Emma's birth father, Dylan Geer, and see if he was willing to be part of Emma's life, in the hope that it would help her recovery.
In the meantime, Laura continues to visit Sarah, going on walks and listening to stories of Sarah's youth. Over time, the stories reveal a terrible tragedy Sarah endured... leading her to a sacrifice she never wanted to make. Laura wanted to help Sarah, but more than that, she wanted to know why someone was leaving anonymous letters in her mail, warning her to stay away from Sarah. In the end, Laura finds the answers she's been searching for, and Sarah ends up impacting her life, as well as Emma's, in ways Laura could never have imagined.
Breaking the Silence is a tale of love and loss surrounded by mysteries from the past, as well as the present. Each answered question raises others, and it is so skillfully written that it keeps you guessing all the way through. If you haven't read it, I urge you to give it a try... you won't be disappointed!...more
Lots of great information in this book about the most efficient ways to get a good ab workout. Some of the exercises look pretty tough, including someLots of great information in this book about the most efficient ways to get a good ab workout. Some of the exercises look pretty tough, including some that are marked as 'easy' exercises. I'm not certain all of them would be do-able in the beginning, but it's a goal to work towards, I suppose.
It also contains information about food, giving tips on what you should and shouldn't eat, and provides several meal suggestions and recipes for healthy, nutritious meals.
Definitely worth a read if you are looking to lose weight and improve your fitness level....more
Seventeen year old Nell Lillington finds herself pregnant after an innocent flirtation is allowed, by her naivete, to go too far. In the 1870s, the onSeventeen year old Nell Lillington finds herself pregnant after an innocent flirtation is allowed, by her naivete, to go too far. In the 1870s, the only respectable choice she has is to name the father and be promptly wed... but marriage is the last thing Nell wants for her life. She manages to disguise her condition for a while, but her secret is inevitably discovered and she is brought before her mother and stepfather (a man with political aspirations in their small town) and told she must name the man responsible and marry him at once. When Nell refuses, they must come up with a plan to keep her shameful fall from grace hidden, and quickly. Nell is hidden away from visitors under the guise of a lingering illness, unable to see her dear friend, Martin, or anyone else. Her stepfather, Hiram, eventually presents Nell with a choice: she will either be sent to the distant and isolated Prairie Haven Poor Farm, where she will give birth to her illegitimate child secretly and give it up for adoption, or, she can name the father and marry him.
Still unwilling to marry, and wanting to be able to return to her ailing mother after the child has been born, Nell agrees to go to the Poor Farm. Once there, Nell earns her keep by working as a seamstress. She becomes friends with Mrs. Lombardi, the matron, and Tess, one of the "inmates", as they called, living on the farm. A few months later, in the midst of a blizzard, Nell gives birth to her daughter, Sarah. Her days are spent sewing and caring for Sarah, whom she quickly learns to love, and wants to keep.
The sameness of her days is shattered with the discovery of the corpse of a former inmate, still holding her dead baby in her arms. Everyone insists the troubled young woman must have shut herself up in a padded room of the long-unused wing of the house, staying until both she and her child froze to death, but Nell isn't at all convinced that's what happened. She believes someone forced the poor woman into that room, and left them there to die. But why would someone have cause to murder a young woman and her baby? Was it the unknown father, perhaps? Nell wanted answers, but more than that, she needed to find a way to escape the farm with her precious daughter, before her stepfather forced her to give baby Sarah away. But the cost of those answers is far more than Nell ever imagined it could be.
I enjoyed reading this book very much, but the one disappointment I had was that the ending felt a bit... unfinished. I'm hoping it's because a sequel is in the works, because I would dearly love to know what happens next. As a stand-alone, it's still a good story, and worth reading if you enjoy historical fiction/mysteries. After all, it certainly isn't the first book I've read that ended too soon for my liking. (But I'm still going to hold out hope that there will be more of Nell's story to be read in the future!)...more