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What is this book about?
Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin’s future—like that of every young woman—hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle’s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiancé commit a horrific crime—and no one believes her.
Gregory denies all, and Isabelle’s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband’s assassination.
In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.
I was intrigued by this story because of Mary Todd Lincoln appearing in it, but I was cautious since this was a new to me author. I am so happy I took a chance. I was drawn into Isabelle’s dilemma right away and had to keep turning pages to see what happened to her. Soon the story became less about the former president’s wife and more about Isabelle herself.
I liked how brave Isabelle was even when she couldn’t see it. The pain of betrayal from those she loved didn’t keep her from doing the right thing, even though she had to accomplish it by very unconventional means and at great cost to herself.
Without spoiling the story, there is a happy ending with forgiveness and a little romance mixed in. I was also pretty impressed by how the author handled adding Mary Todd Lincoln in a respectful manner.
What I enjoyed most about this book:
Isabelle’s personality and strength of character.
What I didn’t like about this book:
The wrap up with the villain was a little rushed.
Note: This is not an inspirational fiction book but it is a clean read.
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes. This has interesting characters and well done historical storyline. This is a standalone novel.
Where can I learn more about this author and their books?
-Loraine NunleyHouse of Silence by Sarah Barthel (4 out of 5 stars) #amreading #BookReview Click To Tweet
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