Silences of the Heart
4 journalers for this copy...
Claudia Carfax, a painter living in Vienna, receives an urgent cable asking her to return to the family home on Vancouver Island, where her elderly aunt is dying. In a cellar under the house. she comes across a tin box full of faded letters from the early years of the century. Examining them, a compelling story begins to surface through the veil of years, as fresh in its intimacy and hidden tragedy as on the days these passionate words were set down."
This was a wonderful book that paints a picture of life for early settlers in this area, and, of course, all the family secrets that often accompany immigration. I really enjoyed reading it, especially because I live in British Columbia and am familiar with the places they mention in the book.
This book is now on its way to bookguide, who chose it out of my Two Worlds Virtual Bookbox. It should take about six to eight weeks as I mailed it surface mail. Enjoy!
The book also describes the struggle to exist for the pioneers on Vancouver Island, and how a sense of community existed whereby everybody helped their neighbours. The story the letters told unravelled slowly, with wonderful descriptions of day-to-day life which may have seemed mundane to the letter-writer, but are fascinating in hindsight, from our modern perspective. It had never really occurred to me before how many emigrants went to the colonies to escape something, and unlike Claudia, who was disgusted at her Uncle William's reliance on money from his parents, I was impressed at just how hard William worked to fit in and make his way. The final revelations about the skeletons in the family closet were wider ranging that I had expected, and it just goes to show how one bitter and forceful personality (in this case William's mother) can negatively influence an entire family, and in fact ruin their lives, all for the sake of appearances.
Released 10 yrs ago (5/11/2010 UTC) at
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
This book has been released as part of the following BookCrossing challenges:
- The Ultimate Challenge - read and release books, with extra points for a monthly theme
- Reduce Mount TBR (To Be Read) - read and release books on the TBR list since before Jan. 2010. My reading goal is 75 books.
- Pages Read Challenge - read a self-set target number of pages in 2010. My goal is 24,000.
EDIT: Actually posted on June 7th, delayed by school holidays. My apologies.
It's exactly what I feel like reading at the moment, and I've been struggling to get into another book, so I started it last night and i'm a third of the way through already. It's the first time I've been able to settle into a sizable bit of reading since we moved 3 months ago - I've been too restless.
And I'm enjoying it. It interests me because I like pioneering history and biography. It's like the idea I had for a book, based on the lives of my ancestors that I've been researching. Also it's surprising how many similarities there are to Australian bush settlers. It feels very familiar.
I enjoyed reading this as I love this genre of book - (fictionalised) history. Although set in Canada, on Vancouver Island, the pioneer story was very similar to that of Australian farmers and I could identify with it in a way I don’t as much with American or British history.
It was a bit of a shame though that I read the author's comment stating that some of the story was true and some wasn’t and it was up to the reader to guess, as I found I had this on my mind a little too much as I was reading. The parts / characters that I suspected were fiction stood out and disturbed my ‘belief’ in the story. (Although I may be wrong about them.)
I was very interested by the book's use of letters and a diary to reveal the lives of people in the past / pioneers. And I especially loved the inclusion of the photos in the book. I pored over them and they were wonderful to get a real feel of how spartan their lives were.
Very enjoyable and the type of book I love.
I thought she would! We are both interested in history and family history. Her young life had echoes of these pioneering lives. Her husband's family were pioneers in the Eurobodalla area and had brushes with bushrangers and so on. On one occasion, her mother had the job of ironing the trousers of Charles Kingsford-Smith. These stories are so precious and must be kept in the 'good china' cabinet rather than in a rusty tin under the house.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES: