The Disharmony of Silence
Black Rose Writing, Mar 5, 2020
Cultural Family Story, Jewish, Genealogy
Provided by publisher via NetGalley
The cover doesn’t really look like much initially. The bow doesn’t look like much of a bow and you really can’t see too much of the cameo. And the title doesn’t really stand out on the white lace background. So, I wasn’t too impressed with the cover.
The story inside wasn’t disappointing, though. I really had no idea what to expect. I didn’t read the blurb before starting to read it and I had forgotten what it was supposed to be about. So, I went into it with no expectations of any kind. I read it in one day, mostly while waiting for my car to be done at the dealership.
Carolyn’s mother is getting older and has dementia. Then she dies. There is no other family, so Carolyn is alone except for one cousin who doesn’t live near her. She is Jewish and this is important as so much of her growing up had focused around the Jewish traditions, the foods and holy days, the family gatherings and such. Carolyn has to clean out her mother’s house to sell it and there is a painting of a woman wearing a cameo which is the same as her mother’s cameo. This painting has always been special to Carolyn, but she really doesn’t have room for it in her own home and it doesn’t fit in with her style. So she goes looking for the artist thinking she might return it to her and ask why the cameo is the same as her mother’s cameo. Perhaps there is a connection.
Carolyn connects with Kate, the painter and they actually become friends after some phone calls and then Carolyn visits Kate to return the painting. Carolyn brings up the idea of genealogy, but Kate wants nothing to do with her ancestors. It makes her a bit grumpy, in fact. So they don’t go into the idea of a connection between the painting and the cameo.
Except Carolyn is really lonely and curious. She looks into her family and Kate’s family and finds more than she expects. But she can’t find a way to bring it up to Kate, whose health is shaky.
Family and friends get involved and have opinions about this whole issue. All of it negative and some of it angry. Carolyn comes so close so many times to telling Kate about what secrets she’s uncovered in her genealogy. Then Carolyn has the opportunity to save a life that’s someone very important to Kate and who’s become special to Carolyn as well. Finally, Kate explains her own take on family and then everyone understands why Kate doesn’t want to dig into her genealogy.
This book is beautifully written and so deeply affecting. I highly recommend it. It is being released Thursday, March 5, 2020.