It's 1929 and Rose, a rebellious and stunning white eighteen-year-old, takes to the streets of Harlem with her Negro housemaid, Tessie, feeling that her socialite parents care more about conceiving a baby boy to carry on the family name than they care about her. She falls helplessly in love with an up-and-coming Negro poet, Nathan Sykes, and the two dangerously explore each other's vastly different worlds, hiding their escapades from Rose’s conservative parents. The tension between Rose and her mother, Renata, is palpable, and there are no limits to how far Rose will go to spite Renata’s non-modernist views. Like mother like daughter, because there is no end to how far Renata will go to protect her daughter. Rose, Renata and Tessie all withhold shocking secrets from each other, but on the fated day of April 19th 1929, the secrets spill, the silence is finally broken, and their lives become so shattered that only true feminine self-sacrifice and love, their relationships and lives.
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"A valentine to both the Harlem Renaissance and the woman's movement of the early 20th century, Silence Broken blends passion, poetry, and politics. Author Rene Urbanovich creates a fiery, headstrong protagonist who, though enmeshed in the social conflicts of her time, ring true to today's students. Both intimate and innovative, Silence Broken possesses all the ingredients of an excellent novel."
~Wade Bradford, English Professor, Moorpark College, CA
“Silence Broken, historically set in 1929, is a compelling novel that substantiates and innovates the practice of literary collage forming a new, more feminist worldview by recreating historical events to promote gender equality... unity and integration, and the feminist quest and sacrifice as it relates to the entire species. This novel’s power as a collage has been greatly enhanced by its division into sections by fabric names, which offer a sense of connection between the fragmented observations in the discontinuous patchwork story, making one want to read on to discover the particular purpose and significance of each piece in the wardrobe of historical issues broached in this book. Silence Broken is entertaining, educational and literary haute couture; a must-read for Feminist Studies students, literature buffs, and those who enjoy a well-written novel.”
~Dr. Jacqueline Shannon, Faculty Member,
The College of Extended and International Education, CSUDH
"In her newest story, Silence Broken, Rene Urbanovich is the consummate story teller. The reader is gently picked up from modern day and firmly set in the middle of the 1920’s. The poetry of Anne Spencer and the music of Bessie Smith provide an irresistible backdrop to explore darker themes of racial inequality, the struggle for women’s rights, and the often devastating chasm between young women and their mothers. In Silence Broken, we track the protagonist, Rose, as she comes of age and learns the complexities of what it means to be a woman. Like her readers, Rose will often have to endure the sting of alienation and shame that come from a world where secrets are sacred and friendship is rare."
~JJ Pritchett, Intervention Specialist
North Thurston School District, WA