At What Cost, Silence?

Karen Lynne

HISTORICAL: It’s 1849 and Adrien Villere lives in Washington, Texas, on a tobacco plantation with his family and their slaves. Adrien knew his slaves are free, even though everywhere else they were indentured vassals. Adrien must keep it a secret that the serfs that work on the family farm are independent, but he must keep up the front that they serve his family. Adrien doesn’t care about politics; he spends his time with his servant and best friend, Isaac. Unfortunately, Adrien is also too handsome for his own good, and falls for many people throughout his life. The threat of the states seceding from the Union and his sordid affair with the neighbor’s daughter, Lily Hart, ultimately changes Adrien’s life, and thrusts him into leaving his safe haven forever for the impending war.

A fascinating, epic tale of a family farmstead that is told incredibly well! The graphic story is superb, with such vivid descriptions of a Texas plantation that readers can imagine themselves there. However, the story does jump around some, making it feel choppy in some places. The end of part one, for example, five years goes by without any explanations of what happens to everyone, even though they continue on. It does leave a lot of open-ended questions. The second part is better at delving into the motivations of all, though it doesn’t fully explain them. The book has numerous viewpoints surrounding the main protagonist, Adrien, who is blissfully unaware of the true nature of humans and the pitfalls of love, even the central romance with Lily, which is a bit of a surprise. Still, Ms. Klink has penned a beautifully written novel full of hardships, betrayals, and devotion.

Roslynn Ernst