4 out of 4 stars
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The historical fiction When Silence Hurts by Anne Frehill steps back in time to Ireland in the 1950s when men were the king of their castles, and they expected women to obey. Evelyn Moore has been living in an abusive marriage for ten years. Kevin Moore is a well-respected veterinarian, and she is a personal assistant to a renowned author. Evelyn frequently hides bruises on her neck and arms, where Kevin physically abuses her. He pulls her hair, has struck her in the face with his fist, and selfishly sexually assaults her. He is also verbally abusive.
While on a week's vacation in Dublin to visit her cousin, Evelyn meets a handsome, mild-mannered doctor named Robert. They have a mutual attraction, and soon their relationship blossoms into an affair. Evelyn decides she has to get out of her marriage while it is still possible and secretly plans how she can leave. Robert had to go to Africa for a few months, and it was after he left Evelyn discovered she was pregnant. Who is the father? Is it Kevin or Robert? How is she going to get away from Kevin now? And What of Robert? How will she tell him she's pregnant?
Anne Frehill did an outstanding job with character development in this book, from Kevin and Evelyn to the town gossip to the Herbalist, who everyone thought was a witch. Aside from her boss, Evelyn Moore was the most liberal female character in the book because she worked outside the home. The story is a classic tale of domestic violence. Kevin Moore is the perfect male when he is around anyone other than his wife. However, at home, he is domineering and abusive. Kevin is even viewed as a hero in the community since he rescued an elderly lady from a burning house.
My favorite thing about this book is how Evelyn, determined to get out of her abusive marriage despite her fear and being seven months pregnant, finally confided in a few special friends who agreed to help her. When the time came to execute her plan, could she work up the courage to run for her life? The chilling circumstances that led to the ending had me holding my breath.
The only complaint I have about this book is that the dialog has a formal tone instead of sounding relaxed and natural in some places. But that didn't interfere with my pleasure in reading this book. I found a few errors, but for a book with 387 pages, it would have surprised me not to find some. I believe the book has been professionally edited.
For the excellent character development, the realistic story of domestic violence and the dynamics surrounding it, and the professional editing, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to anyone who is living in an abusive relationship. I would not recommend this book to anyone under sixteen because of profanity, violence, and sexual situations.
When Silence Hurts
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