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Strains of Silence
by Bethany Kaczmarek
From the back cover:
Music was her driving passion and the truest expression of her faith, but three months before her wedding, twenty-year-old Kasia Bernolak can’t even pick up her guitar. Feeling like a fraud who will ruin her dad’s pastoral reputation, she can barely meet his eyes. When Kasia finds the strength to break off her engagement, she still doesn’t realize the dangerous truth: Blake Hamilton isn’t ready to say goodbye. And he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.
Alexander “Zan” Maddox has seen what a domineering man can do to an unsuspecting woman, and Zan is sick of injustice. He gave up a college baseball scholarship so he could protect his sister from her abusive husband. When he rescues Kasia from her ex-fiancé, he instinctively appoints himself her personal bodyguard. Now, all he has to do is keep from falling for her himself.
Kasia and Zan become fast friends, but true healing and justice might cost more than either of them is willing to pay.
About the author:
Bethany loves a home filled with family and friends. Word gets around that—at the Kaczmarek house—food is abundant, conversations are real, and anything is up for discussion. She and her clan are fans of laughter, indie music, sonic screwdrivers, and superheroes. Home is wherever in the world they’re all together.
Life is rarely 90 minutes to a happy ending. Reality is tough, often ugly, and sometimes exceedingly painful. Strains of Silence doesn’t shy away from the challenges of real life but offers encouragement to those caught in the grips of it or fighting to heal afterward.
With Kasia’s Polish heritage, there were quite a few Polish words used throughout the story (although too many for my preference, as I tended to stumble over them), and her mission trip added an interesting cross-cultural perspective.
Kasia’s struggles and reactions seemed realistic for what she had experienced. I’m not sure Zan’s changes are as believable, but God can do amazing things. He became an admirable character!
Because of its mature topics (abuse and rape), I wouldn’t give Strains of Silence to a younger teen. More mature readers, however, will likely find it either enlightening or encouraging, depending on their personal experience with similar situations.
(I received a complimentary copy of this novel. The thoughts expressed here are entirely my own.)