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5.15.2016

Beyond the Silence ~ Review

Beyond the Silence
By Tracie Peterson
   and Kimberly Woodhouse

For a year Jimmy Colton has refused to speak.  His mother's violent death was the apparent catalyst and the people of Angels Camp, California, are willing to point their fingers at the man who lost both his wife and son on the horrible day.

Woodward Colton has been living with his grief and pain for a year.  He lost his beloved wife, his 6 year old son stopped talking, and the people he called friends and neighbors turned on him.  He knows he needs help for Jimmy if he ever hopes to hear his son's voice again.  And Lillian Porter seems to be the answer to his needs.  She's not from California so she hasn't heard the vicious gossip accusing him of his wife's murder.  She also sympathizes with his son's pain.  Her lack of experience as a nanny doesn't seem to be a problem in his eyes.

Lillian Porter is determined to break away from imposed prison her grandfather has made their home. Trapped within the confines of her "glided cage" Lillian is determined to fulfill the dreams of her heart - living in California and maybe someday a family and home of her own.  But to do so she must first break free from the grandfather whom she has always loved.

Offering Jimmy her love and undivided attention may be just what is needed to break the silence that has held him captive for a year.  But who could be so vicious and cruel?  Two people know parts of the truth but until they can put it together no one is safe.  And piecing together the truth may be the only thing that will keep them alive because the killer is closer than they suspect.

Beyond the Silence is an excellent book.  It is set in 1891 California and life is anything but easy in the last part of the 19th century.  Luxuries that we often take for granted are not in existence. Traveling is by train or coach, watering is a by-the-hand operation (bucketing), communication is by letter or telegram, there are no phones for emergencies, and DNA evidence in a crime is unheard of. Get ready to take a step back in time and enjoy the journey.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Bethany House in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:
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?