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It Happened in Silence

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A delightful and finely-crafted tale of life and politics set a century ago. A testament of love, loyalty, and sheer resilience.

This story takes place in 1921 in Georgia, USA, where racial tensions remain high post-abolition, and social snobbery appears to be a laudable attitude. The Ku Klux Klan is rising in respectability and influence, involving high-profile upstanding citizens and sowing distrust, fear, hate, and prejudice throughout all levels of day-to-day life.


The author skillfully weaves the three prominent characters together in a gripping story-vine that weaves them deftly to a culture of new growth enterprise and Georgian opportunity. Social standing is critical and where you were born in this order determines your lot in life and the future you might look forward to.


Willow is a girl of fifteen living in a tight farming community tucked in the moonshine-mountains. She has never spoken a word in her life but communicates easily with the written word and hand gestures. Her mother is very ill, and Willow is sent to the nearby town to fetch a preacher should a funeral be required. Her lack of speech leads her to misunderstandings and eventually big trouble at the hands of 'do-gooders.'


Briar is Willow’s brother who fell out with their father the year before, after a family tragedy, and banished himself from the mountain in an attempt to make a new life - and return a hero. Bad luck dogs his heels also, and through no fault of his own, he is sent to prison. Chain-gangs are used as free labour to build community infrastructure and industry. A prisoner's life is cheap and very tough.


Ardith is a high-society matron married to a wealthy businessman. She is fiercely ambitious and casually palms her small children off to servants while she pursues her aspiration to become a leader in the ladies' arm of the Klan. Ardith is not really who she appears to be, and her secrets draw her into a web of lies and shameful decisions.


The author writes in an unusually prosaic style that suits the period. I love how she uses words to paint vivid scenery and give each person their unique voice. It is very easy to read and draws the reader on a journey that is both fast-paced and gentle but addictive. I cannot fault the editing and the composition of the story line captured my interest from the first page. Don't miss this one…

Reviewed by

I live in Far North Queensland, Australia, with one husband, one dog, one real cat, and 68 cat ornaments. I write children's books about outback Australia.

Stewart Mountain, Georgia. May 1921

About the author

Karla M. Jay lives in Utah and is either gardening, writing, or planning the next trip. She's always on the hunt for a story that has yet to be told. view profile

Published on October 30, 2020

110000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Historical Fiction

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