"A sleepy town, charming on the surface, conceal a nest of vipers in David Samuel Levinson's novel Antonia Lively Breaks The Silence. Sharpened by plot swerves and an undercurrent of violence, this intelligent psychological thriller exudes the aplomb associated with Patricia Highsmith." -- Lisa Dierbeck, Interview Magazine
"I liked the bookish aspect, the talk about literature and the fact that most of the key characters were connected in some way to books or writing. And, the surprise ending actually did surprise me..." -- Bookfoolery
"What we have here is a work of literary suspense set in academia with side stories about publishing and love affairs. That's, like, all of my kryptonites in one place, you guys." --Bookriot
"Highly, highly recommended for book clubs and lovers of fiction. This is real storytelling and a compelling plot." -- Texas Library Association
"Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence is a spellbinding debut novel with an important takeaway: beware of friendly, young novelists." -- Alvah Books
"A fast-paced page-turner set in upstate New York, this novel holds murder, mystery and psychological suspense." -- The Denver Post
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
In Winslow, a small college town in upstate New York, Catherine Strayed continues to mourn the mysterious death of her writer husband, Wyatt. No one is sure whether his death was an accident, a suicide, or a murder, but he left their house one morning, ostensibly to get groceries, and never returned. Catherine's questions about Wyatt's death--as well as his life, frustratingly unhappy because of the failure of his first novel after a savage review by an influential critic--drag her down and plague her days.
Catherine's attempts to move her life forward following Wyatt's death are complicated by the constant presence of Henry Swallow, the literary critic who essentially ended Wyatt's career before it got started. Henry took a position as Wyatt's boss at Winslow College shortly before his death. Beyond the fact that Catherine blames Henry, the two share a history, as he was her former mentor and lover.
Henry's newest protegé, Antonia Lively, has also come to town. Young Antonia (significantly Henry's junior) is the toast of the literary world with the publication of her first novel, which Henry championed. But what Henry doesn't know is that Antonia's novel is essentially a retelling of an incident she was told about, a incident with ramifications on many people in her life, but Antonia doesn't care about the damage this story may inflict.Read more ›
Some people may want to give their story to someone to write it (or withhold it)and do not want fame and fortune. They may give or take their stories with motives of redemption and revenge. Characters who do/do not want the story released to the public attempt to prevent the writers from knowing the real details, blocking access to the heart of the narrative.
The memoir gives access to real people in a definite presentation while the novel allows the writer to imagine characters indefinitely. The skill of the writer is to include herself honestly in the realism of the memoir or keep herself completely out of the impressionism of the novel.
In this context, Mr. Levinson creates interesting characters attending to three stories, two from the past already published and one evolving with the characters' interactions. Is it acceptable for a writer to deceive others in life to obtain their story, like a journalist, then write it without including herself in the narrative?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Antonia Lively Breaks the Silence is David Samuel Levinson's first novel (He published an earlier collection of short stories, Most of Us Are Here Against Our Will. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Wally Wood
Catherine, the widow of a college professor and novelist, is gradually putting herself back together in a small college town in New York. Read morePublished 9 months ago by The Big Breeze
I read this book in two days. It's a page turner to say the least. The plot is complex and constantly unraveling, the characters are vivid and alive, and the themes are very... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Journey-Bound
The book starts out kind of rough in the first chapter or so. But then the author starts weaving together an intricate love triangle that involves the lives of authors. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Keith Sinders
College towns in the summer are different. Without the students there, the town sleeps and stirs lazily. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sandra Kirkland
I know the author. It was a gripping book. Hard to put down. Nice surprises in the plots but also narrowed in on false fame.Published on July 29, 2013 by Olive Ayhens
In this novel, Levinson excels at capturing the feeling of life in a small college town, and creates rich, intriguing characters who have a complex set of inter-relations. Read morePublished on July 17, 2013 by Seth Patucket
I enjoyed every character in this well written novel, but it was the ending that rocked me. David S Levinson knows how to write a tale. Read morePublished on July 10, 2013 by Irvin Kelly
Set in a small liberal arts college in New York state, this is a debut novel about an intriguing mystery with a complex set of engaging characters. Read morePublished on July 4, 2013 by Pat
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