The Language Of Silence
Gallery Books, Sep 9 2014, $16.00
In 1976 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Ellen Blair fears her husband Wayne. To the rest of the world Wayne is a charming businessman; but inside their home he is violent having sent his wife to the hospital with accidents caused by her clumsiness. Knowing if she does not flee soon, her spouse will one day kill the child she carries.
Her Great Aunt Ruth Gibson encourages her to leave town just like Ellen’s grandmother Lola did five decades earlier. Lola joined the Great Giovanni Bros/ Hogan & Sandusky Circus as a star tiger tamer to escape family violence. When Ellen gets to the Haven House shelter, Wayne greets her with a beating he disguises as a car accident. Her mom offers no hope as Josie insists Wayne is a good husband if Ellen could learn the Language of Silence. When Ruth is hospitalized in Arkansas, Ellen insists on going to the Ozarks while Wayne demands they stay home to greet his visiting Japanese client. Leaving Tupelo, Ellen joins the same traveling circus as her grandmother did but as a teacher with her favorite student being mute Nicky. Ruth welcomes her niece, but soon sees visions of irate Wayne coming for his runaway spouse. With Lola’s help, the female relatives flee for their lives from a psychopathic husband.
is a profound tale that looks deeply at spousal abuse during the “Stand By Your Man” at any cost even your life era. Ironically, Wayne believes in the sanctuary of his vows enhanced by his fists. Although the ending seems over the top of the trapeze wire, The Language Of Silence is a wonderful second chance at life if you take the risk.