Review Copy: Beyond the Silence by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse

Disclaimer: Beyond the Silence, by Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse, was provided by Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

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. Murky rumors swirl around Woodward Colton, her new employer, but the gossip doesn’t match the man Lillian comes to know. Still, something dark did happen in the family’s past. Lillian’s seven-year-old charge hasn’t spoken in over a year. Gently, Lillian tries to coax him out of his shell, hoping he’ll one day feel safe enough to share what scared him. 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. When the housekeeper is brutally attacked, the town once gain suspects the worst. Will discovering the truth help Lillian clear the name of the man she has come to love—or will it endanger her even more?

I enjoyed Beyond the Silence when I read it and even after looking back and noticing its flaws, I still think more positively of it than negatively. It was well-crafted, had a few interesting characters, and had more than enough sweetness and light moments to balance out the more grim sections.

All right, so the plot is incredibly predictable, Peterson and Woodhouse reveal the “dark past” of the Colton farm right off the bat and leave almost nothing else a mystery throughout the course of the book; the way they wrote the villain made me almost laugh out loud at one point; and Lillian is entirely too perfect of a character and just beams goodness and sweetness from every pore (which I guess is fine if you like that sort of character), but I still enjoyed the ride even if by the end of the book I was ready for it to be over.

The thing that irritated me the most, though, were the sentence fragments, which I thought were typos at first and then realized that they were being done on purpose. Why anyone would want to write in fragments or think they contribute to writing/description is beyond me. To me, they just break up the flow and make the sentences choppy.

Beyond the Silence is decent, with some small amounts of intrigue and suspense despite Peterson and Woodhouse revealing all their cards at the beginning of the novel. The romance is predictable and boring, but Jimmy and Harry are the highlights of the novel. Harry especially gives the book an Of Mice and Men feel that helps to lift the book out of the mire, and Jimmy’s fear makes sense even if Darwin’s threats and overall villainy feel cardboard and flat most of the time. Enjoyable, but not outstanding or memorable in any way.

My rating: 3/5

Warnings: Violence, death.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian

You can buy this here: Beyond the Silence

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