Monday, April 21, 2014

Staff Review: Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James

It’s 1919 and there are plenty of men that have survived The Great War, but are now struggling in living their day-to-day lives in England.  Enter Kitty Weekes, a young woman on the run and hiding from her own past, who will now try to help these mentally unstable patients at Portis House.

Kitty is trying to get away from her abusive family and therefore creates false identities to go anywhere she can.  She is now a nurse, an unqualified one, but still a nurse to be hired at Portis House.  It was once a grand estate in the middle of nowhere, but the previous occupants left very abruptly.

It now houses former soldiers that are trying to recover from their atrocities of war.  There are nightmares, headaches, nosebleeds, and the occasional sedation for every patient.  They all truly do suffer because of their past, but why do all of them experience the same nightmare?

Each patient brings their own unique set of challenges for Nurse Weekes and her coworkers, but it’s Patient Sixteen that intrigues Kitty.  Why doesn’t he leave his room and why does she not have clearance to help him?  Kitty has always been a rule breaker, so a few simple rules don’t stop her.  Then the house starts to change and things are seen by everyone, including the mentally insane and the workers.  The west wing is crumbling and locked tightly, but why is everyone drawn to a certain spot there?  Patient Sixteen becomes a friend to Kitty to help her uncover the truth and what’s really going on in this supposedly rundown house.

Silence for the Dead by Simone St. James took me back to when soldiers were “healed” by drugs and isolation and a very small support staff that tried not to upset the men with loud noises or disruptions to their routines.  The setting and the great attention to detail hooked me immediately.  The unique situations, the budding romance, and the mysterious forces were all present and I would highly recommend this book to anyone willing to discover more about the unknown.

~Andrea, Circulation

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