Rented Silence by Lucia Mann is the first book in the African Freedom series. It details the story of post-WWII Africa through the eyes of the innocent and the evil as the painful secrets of this dark time is revealed. From 1945 to recent past, Rented Silence speaks boldly about a growing problem.
The story is told in two parts. Part 1 opens in 1945, Anele, a 27 year old slave at the Hallworthy Manor, has been violated by her owner, the evil and malicious Lord Alan Hallworthy. One Christmas morning, she has had enough and she makes her escape. As she makes her way back home to the Tswanas Kraal, she discovers a newborn baby girl buried alive and gasping for air. She names her Shiya, the forsaken one. When she arrives at her village, the presence of a white child with a African woman causes an uproar which will soon in disaster. Anele and Shiya are separated and live their lives wondering what happened to the other? Shiya is renamed Lynette and is sent a path to silence. Part 2 opens in 1998 as Lynette has made a career of taking people out of brutal situations and bringing them to a life of safety. After she receives a devastating diagnosis, she reclaims her name and becomes Shiya again. She returns to her homeland for justice and revenge. She must share her secret past with her daughter as she tries to reclaim the life that was brutally taken from her.
Rented Silence is a hard book to read but eye-opening. It depicts the horrors in details that is heartbreaking and gut wrenching. The injustice that the characters endure at the hands of the powerful is indescribable. I can’t reveal too much of the story because it will give away major plot points. However, at the end of the book, the Ms. Mann includes a list of “55 ghastly, very sobbing yet little known facts about modern slavery/human tracking” and they are ghastly. To think of millions of adults and children who are sold into slavery through human tracking rings is heartbreaking. Ms. Mann’s goal in writing Rented Silence is to give a voice “to those who have suffered and are suffering brutalities and captivity.” She does an amazing job bringing a voice to the many suffering in silence. I highly recommend Rented Silence as an eye-opening story to a very real problem in today’s world.
Rented Silence is available on Amazon
in paperback for $17.95 and on Kindle for $9.95
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