Friday, 23 September 2011

Silently Loved by Annie Lee

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I love the title of this book – it's so very apt and poignant.

This is the second of Annie Lee's books I have read and was just as impressed as I was with the first (Keeping Grave Alive).  Beautifully written, it's a story of a young woman, Hailey, who flees from her violent and abusive husband to take up a job as a sign-language teacher under an assumed name and falls in love with her landlord, Noah – who happens to be deaf and almost completely blind as a result of a tragic car accident when he was a young child.  He is a bear of a man, but kind and gentle.  They are drawn to each other, but she is damaged by the physical and mental abuse from a vile and selfish man.  Their relationship develops slowly and tenderly.  There is something very endearing about this physically mismatched couple – he is a gentle giant and she is petite, beautiful and fragile, but they are bonded not only by their attraction to each other, but also by their ability to communicate with each other because of Hailey's sign-language training.  The romance in itself is compelling - Annie conceives her characters with credibility – and there is an added undercurrent of tension through the novel.  Is it really that easy to escape a possessive, egotistic and abusive man?  The threat of whether he will catch up with Hailey and what he will do to her if he finds her contributes to a poignant, feel-good novel with a touch of suspense:  the dialogue is natural, the characters well-conceived and Annie paints a beautiful picture of the scenery around Hailey's new home.  A lovely novel.

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