Article first published as Book Review: ‘Breaking the Silence’ by Diamante Lavendar on Blogcritics.
“Breaking the Silence” by Diamante Lavendar is the story of Joan Eastman. On the outside, everything seems normal in Joan’s world, but she has secrets she keeps buried deep within herself. Secrets rooting from the pain and evil she is subjected to at such an early age, she doesn’t even know how to begin to articulate them. Joan tries to forget the trauma, obliterating her consciousness with substance abuse and various other questionable choices, which only cause her to dive even deeper into her self-hatred. Joan’s journey is certainly a test of her faith, and it will take all of her inner-strength and determination to overcome the obstacles in order to obtain the greatest gift of all: love.
Based on a true story, “Breaking the Silence” is the very definition of hope and sends a clear message to anyone feeling weighed down, and in the depths of despair. It was written precisely to help others that may be on a similar path currently, or struggling to make sense of the secrets in their own past.
The story is told by Joan as an adult through journal entries. Joan is pregnant and due to complications, is under strict orders of bed-rest for her entire pregnancy. She takes this opportunity to start a diary and writes about her life thus far, each diary entry a memory of a significant piece of her past. At the end of each entry, she reviews the life lesson she learns and validates each experience, allowing her to make peace and move forward.
I like the presentation of the story through diary entries, probably because I’m a fan of short, sharp chapters. The story is a bit hard to read at times, due to the evil nature of the some of the subject matter, but the author keeps it clean, avoiding unnecessary details, while driving the point home at the same time.
Joan’s character keeps things very real throughout the story. I would like to have seen more depth in the relationship between Joan and her husband, but I get it – it’s not about him! I dove into this book with the knowledge that this is a fictionalized accounting of the author’s true story, yet this is hard for me to reconcile, because it reads just like a biography. That speaks to the author’s ability to create a great story.
“Breaking the Silence” by Diamante Lavendar is an emotional story about overcoming whatever cards you are dealt in life, with faith, positivity and hope. I recommend this story to anyone looking for help, whether going through a similar experience or needing inspiration to overcome any kind of obstacles.