“The Silence in the Sound” by Dianne C. Braley

The Silence in the Sound

Dianne C. Braley
Koehler Books (2022)
ISBN: 978-1646637720
Reviewed by Stephanie Elizabeth Long for Reader Views (12/22)

Desperate for the chance to escape her tumultuous past, including life with an alcoholic father, Georgette moves to idyllic Martha’s Vineyard. She has fond memories of travelling there with her father when she was a teen—perhaps the only time she felt close to him. So she accepts the opportunity to be the caretaker for a highly regarded author. Now grumpy and frail, the once-powerful man takes his time warming up to Georgette. But ultimately, the pair form a strong bond, and Georgette looks forward to their daily encounters.

After a long, lonely winter on the island, Dock is a sight for sore eyes. At first, Georgette is put off by his aggressive disposition. Still, there is just something about him that makes her heart flutter. Maybe it’s his green eyes—resplendent and intoxicating, or how sure he is of himself when they’re together. Still, deep beneath the spark that ignites the pair, is something darker. Georgette senses Dock might be trouble. But how bad can it be?

“The Silence in the Sound” is the emotionally charged debut novel by Dianne C. Braley that follows Georgette as past familial trauma and addiction intersect with present relationships. Her story unfolds at a steady pace, alternating between her past (teenage years) and present (her young adult life), cleverly providing readers with a backstory.

From the first page, the writing evoked a visceral reaction. Despite having the caveat of knowing it would be emotional, I don’t think I was fully prepared for how profoundly it would affect me. The theme of addiction was so deeply embedded and the writing so immersive I found it impossible not to experience Georgette’s plight. The lies, broken promises, and unrelenting grief—all things we can fall victim to when someone we care about is dependent on drugs or alcohol. And because our greatest weakness is wanting to save these people that we desperately love, our hearts are broken time and time again. The author has done an excellent job of illustrating this destructive pattern through Georgette’s relationships.

Continuously burned by instability, I believe Georgette found security in her burgeoning friendship with Mr. S, which I found heartwarming. The older man heavily relied on her. But it was give and take because she, too, needed the relationship for its predictability—the grunts of disapproval and the way he’d curse about his shaking hand, she knew what to expect and how to improve it. Their daily interactions were endearing and provided a reprieval of her dysfunctional relationship with Dock.

Romance enthusiasts: brace yourselves. The love affair between Dock and Georgette was passionate, albeit agonizingly difficult to read. It often had me reaching for the tissues. Still, it accurately depicted the realities of dysfunctional love, making it stand out from other stories.

“The Silence in the Sound” is a multilayered story that will appeal to readers who love character-driven books that explore heavier topics such as addiction, grief, and death. This is a book you don’t want to miss!

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