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‘I need to tell you a story. I need to tell someone – if you’re willing to listen. Really listen. That will be the crux of this story. Listening. And not with your ears, but with your mind, your heart. Your soul. It was how she taught me to listen. And it will be how I teach you.’

The Reverend of Silence is one of the most stunningly written coming of age stories we’ve read in a long time. Pamela Sparkman transported us back to where this story begins -1814- with her words and we were enthralled from the very first page. Her characters were magnificent and their story utterly captivating. Pamela Sparkman never fails to convince us that when she writes a story, she writes from her heart and places that very heart in our hands as we read her words. Her passion, her research into a time not many of us are familiar with and the attention to detail was outstanding and translates into one powerful reading experience. We loved everything about Reverend of Silence.

“Lord, am I old enough to have a broken heart? Because I think Lucy Hallison broke mine tonight.”…And something in me believed she probably always would.

This story is about a time where society was rife with prejudice, where those who were not understood were instead vilified as sinners and where faith shaped the small god-fearing communities. Where propriety and social standing is determined by your status and the coins in your pocket. Where the able are celebrated and the rest are vehemently shunned. However, all it takes is one person to start a ripple effect by standing up for those less able to, by seeing them and standing by their side. In Reverend of Silence, this one person is Samuel Burke. This young boy truly sees Lucy Hallison and becomes her voice when no one else is listening. A friendship is formed and love grows to insurmountable heights. This friendship brings two families together as they face horrific bias of tragic proportions.

‘Tell me you won’t forget me. I couldn’t bear it if you did. I may be leaving, but this is not goodbye. I could never say goodbye. Not to you. Never to you.’

The way in which The Burke family was written ensured that we felt as if we were a part of their home. We fell in love with every single family member. Their honesty, strength and compassion. Their fighting spirit in the face of adversity. They were real; they were good people. As were the Hallison’s. Albeit it took one young lad for them to truly understand and see their daughter, Lucy. Lucy who captured Sam’s heart from the moment he laid eyes on her at school. From the moment he had to defend the girl without a voice, from the moment his life became entwined with hers.

 ‘What deep wounds ever closed without a scar?’
“What do you seek, son? Revenge?”
“The truth,” I whispered.

A wonderful depiction of a time in history written so powerfully, yet exquisite in its vivid imagery and intense emotion. Reverend of Silence is a work of art as a historical fictional romance which showcases the judgement of society. The romance was breath-taking, the struggles and condemnation frustrating, yet it was also inspirational with its human perseverance and unwavering hope for a better future for those we love. We not only cried at the beauty, but we also cried at the injustice of it all. Pamela Sparkman is a magnificent writer and we cannot adequately express our overwhelming love for Sam and Lucy’s story which is one of beautiful friendships, survival and love.

“I want you. All of you. Broken or whole. I don’t care. At the end of my life, I want to look back and remember our story. Give me my story, Sam. One I can tell our grandchildren.”
“If I’m a fighter, Lucy, it’s because you taught me how to be one.”

Synopsis

A coming of age story about faith, love, and overcoming society’s prejudices during the American Antebellum period.

In 1810, Lucy Hallison suffered from a severe illness at the age of three, and later recovered, a deaf-mute. Unable to relate to the world in which she lives, she’s often ignored and sometimes treated with cruelty. Until a boy, Samuel Burke, steps into her life at the tender age of seven, coloring her world and showing her what it means to be seen, to not be invisible, to be understood.

The two become inseparable childhood friends, and as they grow and mature, there is the promise and hope of something more that also grows between them. But the hope of something more is put on hold so she can attend The American Asylum at Hartford for the Deaf and Dumb, the first of its kind, requiring her to leave the only home she’s ever known and the only boy she’s ever loved.

But while she is away, tragedy strikes, and Samuel is now the one unable to relate to the world in which he lives, unable to find his own voice, and withdrawing from everyone and everything he’s ever known.

When Lucy returns home from school, she has one goal in mind—to put color back into his world the way he had once put color into hers.

Because Samuel Burke had been her voice when she had needed him most.

Now, she is determined to be his.

Note: Inspired by real people and true historical accounts.

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