I always enjoy Tracie Peterson’s historical fiction, and Beyond the Silence is no different. It’s co-written with Kimberly Woodhouse, an author I have never read. This book seemed a little different than Ms. Peterson’s previous books, but not in a bad way. I thought it was an enjoyable read.
Jimmy Colton hasn’t spoken a word since the day his mother was murdered. His father, Woody, is naturally concerned about his young son’s health, so he puts out an ad for a nanny. Lillian Porter responds, and is given the job. When she arrives in the town of Angels Camp, she hears terrible news about Woody. The townspeople inform her that he murdered his wife. Lillian’s grandfather told her never to come back home again, so she has no choice but to continue on her journey to the Colton olive farm. The Woody Colton that she comes to know does not seem capable of murdering his wife, and is truly heartbroken over her death. Soon Lillian comes to love the members of the Colton family like they are her own, and she’ll do whatever it takes to protect them, including standing up to the men who accuse Woody of murder. But the man who killed Jimmy’s mother isn’t far away, and he’s coming back. Lillian is prepared to give her life for her new family, and Woody must race to save her from his first wife’s fate. And through it all they must reach beyond Jimmy’s silence and help to heal his broken heart.
This book is considered historical romance, but the romance part is subtle. It’s really a story about falling in love with a family more than a particular person. It’s about being willing to accept people in spite of their imperfections, and the things we will go through to protect those we love. I loved the way that Lillian and Woody fell in love slowly as they grew to know one another better. I admired Lillian’s can-do attitude. She wasn’t going to let anything stand in her way—from angry townspeople to a twisted murderer to an undug ditch. She would do whatever it took to get things done! Lillian is a great character, and so was Woody. I liked watching him fall in love with Lillian, even when he tried not to! The spiritual aspects of this book should not be taken lightly either. Woody’s struggles with God are honest and raw. I think any reader could relate to his feelings over the death of his wife, the problems with his son and the accusations of his previous friends. There is a wonderful lesson about the pain of gossip, rumors and the power of forgiveness.
This is a great read to fill those long winter nights. Ms. Peterson and Ms. Woodhouse have a true winner in Beyond the Silence.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own and a favorable review was not required. Beyond the Silence is available now.