Title: Silence Out Loud
Author Name: Geonn Cannon
Publication Date & Length: March 1, 2013 – 228 pages
Cheryl Paxton grew up knowing the wonders of a good book, how to get lost in a brand-new world and stepping into the life of a stranger. But though she can live a thousand different lives in the pages of her books, she’s never known the sound of her own mother’s voice or heard raindrops falling on a roof. Cheryl was born deaf.
Born to a single mother in a small southern town, Cheryl eventually leaves home and travels across the country to college. On her own for the first time, Cheryl is confronted by new friends and, with them, a new myriad of reactions to her deafness. When she meets the woman who will become her first love and begins exploring feelings she’s only read about, she quickly learns all about the wonder and pain that can come from loving someone.
I should start by saying I don’t know a whole lot about what it’s like to be Deaf, so I’m not capable of making a statement on the accuracy of the details in the novel. There are people who are better qualified to analyze it than I am. Instead, I’m focusing on other aspects of the story.
This is not really a romance in the traditional sense, even though Cheryl experiences many loves throughout the course of the book. Neither is it a coming out story, despite the fact that Cheryl does that too. It’s more about Cheryl’s path to adulthood and maturity and the heartache she endures along the way.
This is my kind of novel. The emphasis is not on the romance aspect but on the relationships overall–between Cheryl and her mother, her friends, and her lovers. I was delighted by many of the people who crossed Cheryl’s path and enjoyed seeing them through her eyes. There were a number of situations in which I could relate to her thoughts and feelings, but I also found myself able to relate to the person on the other side of the relationship.
If what you’re looking for is a lot of action or “overcoming disability” or drama and tension, you won’t find a lot of those things in this book. But if you want a gentle slice-of-life tale with a refreshingly ordinary heroine, some beautiful sensuality, and a hopeful ending, this is a good one to pick up.
Geonn Cannon was born in a barn and raised to know better than that. He was born and raised in Oklahoma where he’s been enslaved by a series of cats, dogs, two birds and one unexpected turtle. He’s spent his entire life creating stories but only became serious about it when he realized it was a talent that could impress girls. Learning to write well was easier than learning to juggle, so a career was underway. His high school years were spent writing stories among a small group of friends and reading whatever books he could get his hands on.
Geonn was inspired to create the fictional Squire’s Isle after a 2004 trip to San Juan Island in Washington State. His first novel set on the island, On the Air, was written almost as a side project to another story he wanted to tell. Reception to the story was so strong that the original story was put on the back burner to deal with the world created in On the Air. His second novel set in the same universe, Gemini, was also very well received and went on to win the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Best Novel, Dramatic/General Fiction. Geonn was the first male author to receive the honor.
While some of his novels haven’t focused as heavily on Squire’s Isle, the vast majority of Geonn’s works take place in the same universe and have connections back to the island and its cast of characters (the exception being the Riley Parra series). In addition to writing more novels based on the inhabitants of Squire’s Isle, Geonn hopes to one day move to the real-life equivalent to inspire further stories.