When We Were Silent
by Fiona McPhillips
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Pub Date 21 May 2024 | Archive Date 20 Jun 2024
An outsider threatens to expose the secrets at an elite private school in this suspenseful debut novel for readers of My Dark Vanessa and Dare Me
Louise Manson is the newest student at Highfield Manor, Dublin’s most exclusive private school. It seems nearly perfect: the high arched window alcoves and tall granite pillars, the overspill of lilac at the front gate and the immaculate playing fields, the giggling students, the dusty, oak-lined library, and the dark, festering secret she has come to expose.
At first, Lou’s working-class status makes her the consummate outsider, though all that changes when she is befriended by the beautiful and wealthy Shauna Power. But Lou finds out that even Shauna is caught up in Highfield’s web, and her time there ends with a lifeless body sprawled at her feet.
Thirty years later, Lou has rebuilt her life after the harrowing events of the so-called “Highfield Affair,” when she gets a shocking phone call. Ronan Power, Shauna’s brother, is a high-profile lawyer bringing a lawsuit against the school. And he needs Lou to testify.
Now with a daughter and career to protect, the last thing Lou wants is for Highfield Manor to be back in her life. But to finally free herself and others, she has to confront her past, go to battle once more, and discover, for once and for all, what really happened at Highfield. Powerful and compelling, When We Were Silent is an unputdownable, thrilling story of exploitation, privilege, and retribution.