Louise's Reviews > Breaking the Silence

Breaking the Silence by Diane Chamberlain
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Jun 27, 2011

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bookshelves: literature-fiction
Read in June, 2011

Forty-year-old Laura Brandon and her sixty-one-year-old husband, Ray, lived a hectic and hurried life in the town of Leesburg. They have a five-year-old daughter named, Emma.

A few minutes after eleven on Christmas night, Laura receives a phone call from the nurse at the hospital where her father, Carl Brandon, is currently dying of cancer. Laura got dressed and headed out the door leaving Ray at home to watch Emma as she felt there was no point in waking her daughter at this time of night and dragging her out to a hospital.

When Laura arrived in her Dad’s room she knew immediately he was still with her, but barely. As she approached his bedside, his eyes opened and Laura could see that he was agitated. She sat on the edge of his bed, took his hand in hers and said: “I’m here, Dad.” Carl tried to speak: “Should…have…told…” he said. Laura bent close and asked her father: “Tell what?” He let go of her hand and tried to reach for his night table grabbing at a scrap of paper. Laura picked it up and saw her father had hastily scribbled a name on it – Sarah Tolley. Laura asked her father who she was but all he could utter was: “…friend, please look after her.” Confused, Laura asked who she was and where she was. All Carl could say was: “Meadow…Wood…” Laura knew immediately that he meant Meadow Wood Retirement Home but still didn’t know or understand who this woman was. Carl became more and more agitated saying: “Take care…promise…promise!!” Upset by his panic, Laura grabbed both of Carl’s hands and promised him she’d take care of her. Moments later Carl slipped away forever.

When Laura arrived home she explained everything to Ray. Ray thought it was a bad idea that Laura involve herself with this Sarah Tolley woman. Laura, on the other hand, felt obligated to visit this woman and start caring for her especially since it was her Dad’s last death bed wish and she had promised him. Laura decided to go against Ray’s wishes and visit this woman but little did she know that in doing so it would cause another death. Her own husband’s!! And after five-year-old Emma witnesses his death, she becomes mute. Laura also begins to receive anonymous notes saying: “You don’t know her. Don’t go again.” Obviously someone doesn’t want her visiting Sarah, but who?

Laura is frantic, upset and riddled with guilt so she contacts the only person who may be able to help her. A man she’s met only once, six years before, and who doesn’t know he’s Emma’s father.

A story of suspense, drama, and intrigue that will have you turning the pages late into the night.

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