Romance with handicap
The Loudest Silence is the second revised edition. I have not read the first one which was published in 2015 so I don’t know what has changed beyond reducing the original 138,000 words to 89,000.
Kate Flynn is a single mother of four-year-old Max, and as a cellist, the newest member of the Windy City Chamber Ensemble in Chicago. There she meets the intimidating president of the board Vivian Kensington on her very first day who, to Kate’s surprise, is deaf. They clash and sparks fly that could have set a haystack on fire. Kate fears that she has already lost her luck on the first day but despite their harsh first encounter, Kate is magically drawn to Vivian’s personality.
The story goes far beyond a workplace relationship, it’s much more about the relationship of two people with totally different backgrounds. Preconditions they had no control over. Kate grew up in foster care and was pushed back and forth and was abandoned so many times that she has built a wall around her heart and unconsciously can never really get involved with people, knowing she will be abandoned again anyway.
Vivian on the other hand comes from a family of musicians and she is the only one who can’t hear or play music because of her deafness. Only her mother never really wants to accept this and doesn’t make her life any easier. As a protective armor, she adopts the persona of the Ice Queen.
Despite initial difficulties, Kate and Vivian quickly become friends and then a couple. Little Max plays a big part in this, wrapping everyone around his finger with his childlike charm. He is my little star in this story. But the relationship has to survive some ups and downs. Fears, prejudices, experiences, and their own ideas collide with each other. Both women are very headstrong, with a drive for independence that sometimes takes their eyes off reality.
It is a wonderful story about two people who have to learn to trust and understand each other. They make mistakes, they hurt each other unintentionally and they have to improve the art of communication. Not just talk but communicate effectively. Both have learned early to rely only on themselves and the mistrust and prejudice are great in both. They can’t see each other’s problems at first and understand even less. They draw conclusions from their own experiences, forgetting to listen properly to their partner. But the author gets the story rolling with a lot of heart and emotion and the love of the two women finally overcomes all obstacles.
This book is also about family, blood-related, chosen, and patchwork families. The secondary characters all play an important role and are very well integrated into the story, especially Max’s father, Vivian’s mother, and Charly, Vivian’s best friend.
We readers can also learn a lot about life with deafness and about acceptance. That we cannot impose our view of life on others, that we must first listen. A long time ago I worked with two deaf people for a few years. It was a very intense and informative time in my life, I learned a lot about communicating with and without words, and about life without sounds.
A wonderful story, highly recommended. 4.5 stars.
Thanks to Ylva Publishing for providing an ARC for an honest review.