About the BookA bisexual young man grapples with questions of integrity and masculinity as he and his unconventional sister and enslaved brother struggle for respect and a future between dark secrets and unbridled passions of two plantation dynasties.
Book SynopsisAdrien Villere suspects he is not like other boys. For years, he desperately locks away his feelings and fears--but eventually, tragedy and loss drive him to seeking solace from his mentor, a young neighbor Jacob Hart. Jacob's betrayal of Adrien's trust, however, results in secret abuse, setting off a chain of actions from which neither Adrien's wise sister, Bernadette, nor his closest friend, Isaac, can turn him. At What Cost, Silence presents two contrasting plantation families in a society where strict rules of belief and behavior are clear, and public opinion can shape an entire life. Centerstage are the Villeres, a family less brutal than the Harts, but no less divisive. Often-absent Papa Paien Villere guards several secrets he has kept from everyone--including one which could destroy his entire family. Years after Jacob's betrayal, Adrien falls hopelessly in love with his former mentor's erotically precocious and beautiful young sister Lily--whose father has affianced her to a wealthy older man. What will happen if Lily's violent brother learns of Adrien and Lily's clandestine affair? Will Adrien aid in freeing Isaac--an enslaved Black man--as promised? Will Bernadette find the unconventional life she seeks? Or will their entire world end as states secede and war creeps ever closer?
--Molly Gloss, author of The Hearts of Horses