I feel like it has been absolutely ages since I reviewed a piece of historical fiction here. That’s about to change today.
The Disharmony of Silence by Linda Rosen
In 1915, jealous, bitter Rebecca Roth cuts all ties with her life-long friends, the Pearls. Eight years later, Rebecca’s son and young Lena Pearl begin keeping company in secret. Rebecca agrees to a truce when the couple marries. But the truce is fragile. Rebecca’s resentments run deep.
In 2010, Carolyn Lee, fitness instructor and amateur photographer, must come to grips with the fact that her mother’s imminent death will leave her alone in the world. While preparing her childhood home for sale, she realizes for the first time that her mother’s antique brooch is identical to the one pinned to the lady’s dress in the painting hanging above the fireplace. Coincidence or connection? Carolyn is determined to find out. What she discovers has the potential to tear lives apart or to bring her the closeness and comfort she longs for. It all depends on how she handles her newfound knowledge.
For me, it was the historic part of The Disharmony of Silence that stole the show. For one, I found the love story of Lena and Jack absolutely beautiful. I admired how they rose above a family rift to ensure their relationship, and both of them working in the same department store and studying by night to make a life for themselves was so romantic. I’m a sucker for these things! It wouldn’t have been so wonderful without the emotional writing style of the author, though. At one point I had to put the book down for a bit while I pulled myself together.
I also enjoyed learning more about Jewish culture and traditions. I really don’t know as much about the world as I should but The Disharmony of Silence helped.
And, of course, this book is also filled with lots of juicy stuff! As you can gather from the blurb, there are big family secrets that must be unfurled. Plus, there is a good mix of small and big, and loving and distant families that we can love or judge, whatever we feel like.
Now, I have to admit that once I discovered the connection between past ad present, the book fell a bit flat for me. It was more curiosity that kept me going. I think a lot of this was to do with that fact that I didn’t connect as much to Carolyn as I did to Lena and Jack. Still, there wouldn’t have been a story without her and I appreciated the part she had to play.
Despite the shortcomings of The Disharmony of Silence, I still finished it within 24 hours. I just HAD to know how it ended.
Pick up your copy of The Disharmony of Silence here.