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Reviewed by Ankita Shukla for Readers' Favorite
A History of Silence is the first book in Cynthia J. Bogard's The Heartland Trilogy. And what a heartfelt beginning! Jenny, Jane, Liz, and Maddie are closer to one another than they would have ever imagined. A devastating dark past binds them together. When Jenny turned her back on her family, she thought she would escape her pain; however, the shadow of her past trauma followed her everywhere. Miles away from her, Jane was living a similar fate. Even though she managed to get away from her place of birth -- a place that reminded her of the excruciating pain her father put her through -- she ran right into the arms of a monster, not unlike her own father. Maddie had been grief-stricken ever since her girlfriend, Roz, dumped her. Yet, when she saw how her colleague was taking advantage of Jane, she attempted to warn the young girl. Nonetheless, in the first meeting itself, Maddie realized Jane was a broken shell of a girl; she was vulnerable and fragile beyond words. Liz, who is Jenny's mother, had been kicking herself for not being able to reconnect with her daughter. It had been breaking her heart to have no means of reaching out to her. So, she immersed herself in her work, trying to find a refuge from the constant shame and guilt.
Cynthia J. Bogard has achieved a very difficult, if not impossible, feat; she has expressed in words the complex after-effects of sexual abuse. When the person, who is supposed to be your safe harbor, chooses to surrender to their sinister impulses and ruin everything you believe in, they do not realize the level of damage they do to you. In A History of Silence, Cynthia J. Bogard has flawlessly bared those raw emotions for readers to explore. Those few minutes, hours, days, or even years hold the power to redefine the victim's complete personality. It was heartbreaking to read some of the chapters, yet the storytelling was so powerful that one just can't take their eyes off the pages. Apart from this sensitive topic, the author has also shared some really interesting, albeit shocking, history of slaves. I highly recommend A History of Silence to historical fiction lovers. If you like reading about such sensitive subjects and are not afraid to shed a tear or two, definitely add this book to your shelf.