The Silent Lady
In 1955, a frail, disheveled and somewhat disoriented woman dressed in rags enters the upscale office of a respected London solicitor asking to see Mr. Armstrong. Although the receptionist is hesitant to comply with her request, she calls her employer and tells him that a woman with a name that sounds ‘something like Barndoor’ is in the outer office requesting to see him … and is shocked by his vehement reaction to her news. Thus begins the story of Irene Baindor, wife of a wealthy business magnate, who had mysteriously disappeared without a trace in 1929–leaving behind her adored four-year-old son as well as a husband with a penchant for violence. As the story unfolds, the reader is drawn into the woman’s missing years and, ultimately, the repercussions when her son learns that the mother he had thought dead for years is still alive. The truth behind her disappearance shakes him to the depths of his soul and culminates in a confrontation between father and son that changes both their lives forever.
Although the writing at times tends to go a bit purple, I found this novel to be a very compelling read. This is a story about physical and emotional abuse and, although the subject matter is tragic, it’s also a story about redemption and the underlying resilience and goodness of the human spirit.