1988. The Deep South. Deadly silence surrounds Barb Hensen--no one speaks of the violence in their midst. Raised to fulfill her family's expectations, she marries young and has a daughter. When the horror of her marriage becomes intolerable, she escapes into alcohol, drugs, and anorexia. Until the day Yona Adohi drives into her life. Through her friendship with the lesbian Yankee, Barb begins the journey of self-discovery. Punished by her husband for defying him, suicide becomes the only viable alternative. The suicide attempt forces Barb to make a difficult decision: go against her family and divorce; or remain in an abusive marriage and die. Barb leaves her marriage. In revenge, her ex-husband uses the biased court system and takes Barb's daughter hostage. Barb is faced with an impossible decision to either give up her life, or lose her child, she turns to Yona for help.
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Author biographies are, by tradition, written in third person. In this, I will eschew tradition. The subject is much too personal; and much too important to stay at a distance. I am a lesbian. I am married to my wife of 27 years. We have both lost much in order to be together. I have never regretted my decision. This book was torn from the bones and the blood of lesbians all over the world. These pages tell the story of their pain; of the tremendous losses they have suffered; of the triumphs they have wrenched from the battles they faced; and, of the great loves they have experienced, in spite of the price they paid. I am proud to be part of such a sisterhood. Each night, when I sit down at my computer, I write about real women, ordinary women who live extraordinary lives of quiet courage. Every day as I go about my ‘other life’ working the land of the wildlife habitat my wife and I established in 1996, adventuring on my motorcycle, training my dogs, or simply spending time with family and friends, I meet women I have written about. This is especially true of the women in Beyond the Silence. So many women are survivors of that devastating silence. I have written over ten novels. Each one of them--whether they are mystery, fantasy, literary, or young adult—have spoken to issues faced by women in today’s world. Every book I write celebrates women’s lives; women’s courage; women’s triumphs. Thank you for being a part of my journey. Aya Walksfar
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