For readers of Women's Fiction, such as the work of Elin Hilderbrand, Jennifer Weiner, and Jodi Picoult novels, individuals affected by addiction, and fans of William Styron, Braley is a talented writer whose work will draw you in—and her novel is one inspired by her own life experience.
While living in Martha’s Vineyard years ago, Braley cared for ailing Pulitzer prize-winning novelist of Sophie's Choice, William Styron.
While working there for ailing celebrity author Mr. S. helps heal old wounds, new ones emerge in the form of a toxic love affair with a mysterious man.
He not only was her patient but soon became her friend and motivator. He and his books helped her realize she missed crafting stories, and she had some of her own to tell.
This Summer (August 23rd, 2022), New Englander Dianne C. Braley, debuts her coming-of-age story woven with addiction, love, and celebrity.
The Silence in the Sound (Koehler Books; 396 pages) is a women’s upmarket novel about young nurse Georgette who, to escape her past, heads where the memories won’t follow—Martha’s Vineyard island.
PRAISE FOR THE SILENCE IN THE SOUND:A beautifully-written and riveting tale of love, resilience, friendship, devotion, and the heartbreaking impacts of addiction. Braley does a masterful job weaving George’s quest for love and peace with fascinating intersecting story lines, past and present. For those who love Martha’s Vineyard, it’s also a special treat to see the island lovingly rendered as a character in its own right.”--ELISA M. SPERANZA, author of The Italian Prisoner
"Dianne Braley’s beautifully written, lyrical, and insightful debut weaves the disparate threads of the journey to wisdom and maturity into a wondrous fabric. The Silence in the Sound plumbs the depths of relationships – with a famous author, with a lost father, and ultimately with oneself – to measure the sometimes dark pathways that bring us to where we are. A brilliant read, and a first novel that promises great things to come."--Greg Fields Author, Through the Waters and the Wild, winner of the 2021 New York Book Award for Literary Fiction
Soon everything changes when she encounters the mysterious Dock.
EXCERPT OF THE SILENCE IN THE SOUND:
Raindrops fell hard on the windshield, startling me. Sleep had eluded me for days, and I was both tired and wired, living off coffee after getting the news.
It’s funny how, though you know something terrible is coming, you expect it and are ready for it, you think, but then it happens, and it blindsides you.
You are never as prepared as you think you are, if at all. I’d been here before, and I wasn’t remotely ready. This time was no different.
More drops fell, and my eyes welled as if the rain somehow triggered me to join it. The sun was bright in the sky ahead of me, past the clouds near the Oceanographic Institute. I slowed the Jeep, pulling onto some open grass on the side of the road.
Tears spilled down my face, and I rested my head on the steering wheel, feeling the moisture hit my legs below my skirt. The rain tapped on the windshield in a loud rhythm, aligning with my heartbeat, which I was intensely aware of in my anxious, caffeine-fueled state. Inhaling deeply, I held my breath, then blew out slowly against the steering wheel.
“I can’t do this,” I whispered, turning my face toward the vent for the cold air to dry my tears. An overwhelming feeling of panic and dread came over me, and I reached for my throat, feeling as if I was choking, and tried to clear it.
“I fucking hate you,” I breathed out, hanging my head and sobbing, clutching the steering wheel as hard as I could. Hobo touched me with his paw. I ignored him, watching a string of saliva fall from my mouth onto my legs, joining the wetness from the tears.
I wiped my mouth, smearing lipstick across my hand, staring at my legs, feeling numb. A few moments went by when the Jeep vibrated from the rumble of a truck passing, and I lifted my head. I looked through blurry eyes, seeing the clouds now gone and the sky, bright and blue, where the trees cleared a few yards up. Suddenly, I remembered where I was.
This point on the road was where the happy and calm came, when I’d reach the spot a little further ahead. I put the Jeep in drive, inching a little on the grass a hundred yards past the clearing, and rolled my window down. Leaning on the opening, I rested my chin on my forearm and looked to the left.
The tiny Coast Guard lighthouse sat on the little patch of land, and I watched as the whitecaps broke against it. The dark blue ocean stretched for miles, and seagulls called to one another as they hovered over the two ferries docked below. The blue of the sea was slightly darker than the blue-gray sky that met it. The contrast of the colors in front of the golden and rust-colored sands of the island’s cliffs several miles from shore was calming and comforting, and I closed my eyes.
My lips turned up in a small half-smile, and I inhaled the clean, salty air. There it was across the water—the island, my island, or it used to be. It was the place I came to, and I never wanted to leave. I resented that I had to. I resented Dock.
The anger built inside me again. I resented the anger, too, and didn’t want to feel that today. The island was mine before all of it. It was mine the day I landed on it that weekend with my father all those years ago. Coming back now, I wanted it to be mine again, but so much has happened.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:A raw, gritty New Englander, Dianne C. Braley found love for the written word early on, reading and creating stories while trying to escape hers, growing up in the turbulent world of alcoholism.
Braley has partnered with the Robert F. Kennedy Community Alliance organization and their division that assists children and families affected by addiction in Massachusetts. Part of the proceeds from her book will be shared with the organization.
Sounds like a good one.ReplyDelete
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