Sentencing Silence, a 2019 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist in Literary Fiction*, explores the interior and exterior plight of June, Reni, and Sandy through loss of innocence, identity, and voice toward breaking the silence that holds them captive in the traumatic past that thwarts their dreams.
What readers are saying about Sentencing Silence ...
“The beauty and strength of Sentencing Silence is in its telling. Each of the characters recounts her story, related through narration that switches seamlessly between present day and memory, as Nesbitt’s sure hand and deft pacing guide the reader effortlessly through the journey. The fluid prose is both captivating and uncoils like a dream through characters who love words, but who are emotionally stunted and rendered mute by trauma. Even the minor details are poetic—a voice ‘cracking like a branch,’ a girl with ‘faucet water skin,’ and the moon over Walgreens that is ‘a ripe mango on top of a baby grand.’ Once you begin Sentencing Silence, you’re bound to read it to the end.” – Ellen Wade Beals, Writer, and editor and publisher of Solace in So Many Words.
"In this heartbreakingly beautiful book, Kathleen Cecilia Nesbitt takes the reader on a gut-wrenching ride through emotional and physical devastation -- and ultimately redemption -- all of it told in gorgeous, poetic prose. A marvel of creativity.” – Joyce Polance, Artist and Writer
“Sentencing Silence is the real deal. The writing is wonderful, and poetic, and compelling, and so evocative that it puts you right there with the characters. Nesbitt shows us a real life that travels the painful path from the beginnings of self-realization through inchoate fury and finally into healing. As the reader traveling this path with June, Reni, and Sandy we are by turns infuriated by June's inability to recognize the abusive signs in her own marriage; we root for Reni's strength and resolve, even though she seems to have turned on herself; we grieve for the depth of Sandy's loss and pain, then cheer for her awakening and hope for her healing. If you know someone who has ever been abused, if you love someone, or want to understand someone more deeply who carries this burden, Sentencing Silence is an incredibly well-written and powerful masterpiece that evokes, rather than explains, the full gamut of emotional responses through lively and amazingly well-developed characters. I absolutely loved this book almost as much as it challenged me to see things more clearly.” – Amazon Reviewer
"I began reading Sentencing Silence late one evening and before I knew it, it was ten o'clock in the morning; I couldn't put it down. I was already a fan of Nesbitt's poetry, but her prose, laced in lyricism, exceeded my expectations! Quite frankly, this novel blew me away. Nesbitt knows how to hold an audience spellbound with anticipation and bring the reader into both the state of mind of the narrator and the state of how trauma suspends a victim's ability to move forward. … In the end, Sentencing Silence tells us that denying our pasts, dismissing the trauma we have experienced only makes that trauma our guiding factor. We must use our voices to heal our wounds. Sentencing Silence is a powerful and incredibly well-executed novel.” – Ruth La Sure, Writer and Photographer
“Crafted like a triptych, with exquisite sentences and amazingly gorgeous writing, Sentencing Silence introduces three women: June, Reni, and Sandy. Each one’s journey differs and yet all three are tied to the major theme of life aborted due to trauma. The reader drifts along inside the minds of these three women while, at the same time, viewing their exterior lives. Nesbitt has somehow achieved a multi-layered effect whereby the reader enters the scene, the analytical mind, and the subconscious - the latter of which can move from dreamlike to nightmare over the course of just a few paragraphs. One has to marvel at Nesbitt’s ability to create a sense of terror: fear, sadness, anguish, sorrow, confusion, desire, and nightmares are presented perfectly on a silver tray, exquisite in their tortured reality.
“Nesbitt combines traditional and experimental writing in a fascinating way. Her style makes the book more artistic than it might have been in straight narrative form. Certain sections, particularly the one about Sandy, remind one of the work of Marguerite Duras. Nesbitt has a tight collar placed around her command of pain. She is leading it – and the reader – right to the edge of the cliff. There is a message in Sentencing Silence, but that may not become apparent until the very end. In the meantime, the rest of the book is mesmerizing. It’s about the journey. This is a book for true readers of literature. It is not your usual pull-off-the-shelf-for-a-quick-read novel. It takes dedication, perception, and the desire to inhabit ‘the other.’” – Kyle Ingrid Johnson, Writer & Biographer
*What are the National Indie Excellence Awards?
The National Indie Excellence® Awards celebrate independent publishing as a strong and proud sector of the publishing industry. Recognizing the merit of authors, publishers, editors and designers NIEA champions self-publishers and the independent presses who go the “extra mile” to produce high quality books in all aspects from the written word to design and production. Established in 2007, NIEA’s entrants are carefully judged by experts from various facets of the book industry profession including publishers, writers, editors, and designers.