Cover Image: The Measure of Silence

The Measure of Silence

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Member Reviews

Embarking on 'The Measure of Silence' as my introduction to both this author and the genre proved to be a captivating experience. The narrative, focusing on family secrets and the impact of historical events, especially Mariah's journey in the 1960s, held my attention from the start. The idea of a key unlocking hidden family truths added an intriguing layer, and the emotional challenges depicted in Mariah's story felt authentic to the era. Witnessing the growth of present-day characters, Jessica and Raine, influenced by their grandmother's past, added depth to the narrative. This heartfelt exploration has piqued my interest in exploring more works by this author and delving further into this genre.
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This was a fascinating tale of family secrets, woven together with one of those historical moments that divides the world into before and after. Sisters Raine and Jessica are dealing with the death of their grandfather when they find he has left them something - a key to their grandmother Mariah’s hope chest. He asks them to read it’s contents and follow where it goes, suggesting a family secret yet to be uncovered. Sixty years earlier, Mariah was a struggling photographer. In Dealey Plaza, Dallas, she’s waiting for the arrival of President Kennedy’s motorcade. She’s full of hope, thinking this may be the picture that starts her career. What she actually captures is a moment in history, an event so seismic it will define a generation. Everyone will remember where they were when Kennedy was shot. Yet this is only part of the story. The shock of that day sends Mariah into premature labour. Alone, miles from her home and struggling with her mental health she has kept quiet but can she continue to cope? The events that follow are something that the girl’s grandmother has kept to herself. She’s lived in silence. Now the girls must choose what to do with the information they’ve found, This is a hard read in parts, but it needs to be to put across the reality of Mariah’s experience in that time period. I loved her story, in fact it made me emotional but I also loved how their grandmother’s story affected Jessica and Raine, and helped them grow.
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Elizabeth Langston has written an engaging, gripping story of family, devotion and history in her exception novel “A Measure of Silence.” The summer release is so timely as we approach the 60th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination in November.

In 1963, Mariah Byrne witnesses the assassination of President John F. Kennedy at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. The excitement to see Mrs. Kennedy up close gives way to horror for Mariah, an aspiring photographer, and her fiancé Hal. Circumstances cause their baby to be born a month early on a day that will never be forgotten.

Fast forward 60 years as Mariah’s two granddaughters Raine and Jessica face the loss of their beloved Papa. He has left them with a last wish to discover the truth about their family and its history. The truth can be found in three boxes of memorabilia stored in Mariah’s hope chest. 

It's a story that the young women have never heard. It’s a past that’s disappearing as Mariah’s dementia erases memories of what her life once was.

Langston tells the family’s story through past and present perspectives that weave together a family that’s breaking apart from long-kept secrets. The sisters are polar opposites with their own memories of a loving grandfather, a once-powerful grandmother and divorced parents who are hiding their own stories.

Raine struggles with emotional overload while Jessica hides her feelings through work. Both know that there’s more to know about their lives, and they’ll only find the answers if they work together. As their grandfather requested, they have to put judgment aside and not settle for partial answers. They must come to grips that women have not always had the freedom to make their own decisions or find their true paths.

The story is raw and sad. “The Measure of Silence” feels like something that could have happened to a friend. It’s that “real” in its substance. One minute you’re angered by the past, then you’re saddened but finally you’re glad that the pieces have finally come together.

This is a novel that tugs at the heart on so many levels. It’s an excellent choice for a book club selection because all those family and generational dynamics are begging to be discussed! Luckily for readers, there’s a reader guide to help you understand all the emotions that surface from reading this work of historical fiction. And don’t forget the tissues!
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Two sisters (Jessica and Raine) are on a mission to fulfill their grandfather's last wish in the form of a note that leads them to a chest full of family secrets.

This book felt raw and real with a lot of emotion.
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The Measure of Silence was quite the roller coaster. Following the story of Mariah in the past and present filled me with excitement, anticipation, and sadness. She faces so many different obstacles and the trauma and trauma response during the 60s is hard to read about. I felt like I was uncovering her story along with Raine and Jessica. This is a mystery that needs to be uncovered.
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Thank you @netgalley and @amazonpublishing for sending me this book for review. Opinions are my own.
 “Two sisters fulfilling their grandfather’s dying wish uncover decades of secrets in a novel about family, truth, and forgiveness.”
I love historical fiction book with a dual timeline that includes family secrets. I was especially interested because this book starts on the day JFK was shot in Dallas (which I did a paper on in high school) and I’ve never read a book from the perspective of someone that was actually in the crowd that day and the ramifications of being a witness to that tragic event. The timing of this book is also significant given that this November will mark the 60th anniversary of JFK’s death. 
I love that the idea of PTSD and mental health in 1963 was explored. It’s very clearly different from what would have happened today, although you obviously have to factor in the fact that Mariah didn’t have any resources or support system.
In the present day, it’s hard to tell what the relationship is actually like between Jessica and Raine. They seem surprised to be working well together but there’s not really any indication that this wouldn’t be the case. Raine is clearly neurodivergent, which the author mentions in her acknowledgements, but this isn’t discussed and I found that frustrating. 
On that note, many of the relationships and characters seemed to be kind of surface-level and one-dimensional. I wish these had been explored further. I didn’t really get the relationship between Jessica and Luke, but I did love Mariah and Gregor.
Speaking of Gregor, I’m not sure why he left a such a specific and secretive process for Jessica and Raine to follow to figure out the family secret. I guess they discovered other things along the way but it seemed a bit dramatic. 
Overall, this book had flaws but it was an interesting story that kept me reading.
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This book is about a Grandfather leaving clues for his granddaughters to learn the big family secret as his dying wish. The sisters join forces in different ways because they are quite opposite of one another. Along the way they learn about an uncle they didn’t know about. The two also learn about one another and form a wonderful sister-bond. They also discover love and how to grow in marital relations.
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I am interested in all things related to the Kennedy family so I was thrilled to read this novel! It was such a good read. The mystery, the family connections, the emotional roller coaster....all made for a wonderful reading experience!

Thank you so much for the digital ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
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This historical fiction from the dual timeline put me in a melancholic, almost lyrical atmosphere. Beautifully written, full of emotion and with well-characterized main characters, this story grabs your attention from the beginning. The story centres around family secrets, trauma, grief and mental illness. Anyone looking for a book to move them to the core should read this story.
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This book wrecked me in allll of the best ways. Wow I loved this, it is an absolute must read! 

There are some triggers for PPD and PTSD so be aware of that before reading.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the Publisher for providing me this Advanced Readers Copy of The Measure of Silence by Elizabeth Langston!
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My honest review is freely provided in return for the kindness by NetGalley and the author/publisher in providing me with this book to review.

This is a novel that book clubs will love.  There’s so much to talk about from the relationships between the characters, to the choices made, and the eventual outfall of it all.  The attitudes of the 1960’s was well executed because I remember that marry your own kind meant within the Catholic or Christian faiths and not mixing between the two.

Between the parallel storylines, I will admit that Mariah’s story from the 1960’s was the more interesting one.  I recall when JFK was assassinated, and how very sad the event was.  Seeing the casket on the streets of DC is one vivid memory from the television coverage so her story resonated with me.  I can understand the trauma of being there to observe it.  For people who remember the event, this will definitely touch off a flood of memories about how this event touch your life.

The investigating the granddaughters are left to do presents the examination of decisions and motivations which was a nice touch to the story.  Some in depth thinking leads them on their path toward the answers they seek.  I really enjoyed this book.
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The Measure of Silence is essentially about two (practically estranged) sisters who are given a bunch of photos, documents, and home movie reels and are tasked with finding out a big family secret after their grandfather has died. The story was easy to get sucked into but the reason the secret was kept secret felt a little over the top. 
It’s definitely a good palate cleanser of a book between heavier reads.
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Thank you NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author for an ARC of The Measure of Silence for an honest review.

I was drawn into this book when I read the synopsis. The assassination of JFK and a family secret pulled me right in. The book is told in dual POV and timelines. Raine and Jessica are given a task from their recently deceased grandpa to learn their family history. He provides three boxes that include information for them to learn family secrets.

Do the secrets tear this family apart or bring them closer together? This story  had some beautiful parts and heartbreaking parts. It deals with PTSD, post partum depression and other topics.
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This book starts off very intensely right off the bat as the main characters are preparing for the best day of their lives. Instead of ending their day with a wedding as planned, they become witnesses to one of the most horrific moments in presidential history, the assassination of JFK. That one day forever changes the lives of those in attendance and also the lives of generations to come. 

The story switches back and forth between past and present day and shows how secrets kept in the past are impacting the lives of those in the present time even many years later. Everything comes to a head when the truth finally comes out! 

Overall, I enjoyed this one but it was hard not to be frustrated that so much could have been solved by a simple conversation. While I understand it was a lot more nuanced than that and there were reasons for all parties to hold to their secrecy, I couldn't really believe that people would hold these secrets for so long. 

Thank you so much to Lake Union Publishing for the chance to read and review this book. This book is available now!
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I didn't care for the premise - grandpa (and mom) maybe could have maybe told the girls what's up at some point instead of saving this big family secret for them to figure out. The two protagonists (and supporting characters) are written in very stereotypical, one-dimensional ways and never become fully fleshed out 3D human beings. Unfortunately I just never got into this one.
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The Measure of Silence by Elizabeth Langston is a historical fiction novel that doesn't shy away from tough topics such as trauma, grief and mental illness. The characters were realistic and the premise was interesting. This was my first book from Ms Langston but I can assure you that it will not be my last.
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A moment in history that changed the world but also changed a family.  The story follows two sisters, who's relationship has become distant, on a quest to find out the truth kept from the family.  During their search they cause tension within the family but eventually, it brings everyone closer together.

I love a book set over two time periods, and I love exploring how people's actions can have an impact on the future, so this was a great read for me.  I do feel the secret could have been more dramatic, but I loved the tension between the family.  Would definitely recommend it.
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Two sisters uncover many secrets about their parents and grandparents after their grandfather dies and leaves them the task of piecing together the clues and lies. Lots of issues to unpack here in this emotional novel.
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4/5 ⭐️

This it’s a emotional/wrenching read, full of grief, secrets and family drama. I found this book at Netgalley and when I saw the cover and synopsis it got me and cannot resisted to request it. When I started reading , it was nonstop. Definitely it’s one of the best reads of the year. There are characters with disabilities, mental health conditions, and more. It’s a clean historical fiction that will transport you to that time.
Thanks to Netgalley and the author for the opportunity of reading the ARC of this amazing story.
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