The September 2022 issues of the Midwest Book Review publications feature three Koehler Books titles: The Silence in the Sound, Balloon Dog, & H’Ilgraith
The Silence in the Sound is a dual timeline novel that vividly portrays the effects of addiction on families. George (short for Georgette) has an alcoholic father and a mother who enables his behavior. George’s fondest memory is of a weekend trip she and her father took to Martha’s Vineyard. When her father gives an impromptu speech at an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting there, she begins to understand his character better.
She returns to Martha’s Vineyard after completing nursing school and eventually begins working for a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Mr. S. She also falls in love with an enigmatic man, Dock. She has conflicting emotions about him, particularly because she senses an inherent danger about him and because of his erratic behavior. Deciding love will conquer all, though, she marries him.
The dual timelines twist to form the DNA of George’s behavior. Later, a third component arises as George reads Mr. S’s novel about a woman in the Holocaust. I found the book difficult to put down and found myself dreading George’s inevitable return to behaviors she’s worked hard to overcome. The scenes showing Dock detoxing were particularly devastating. Dianne C. Braley has taken knowledge she derived from her own profession as a nurse and braided it with her own love of writing.
A brazen art heist pushes our protagonists to reflect on the choices they’ve made — and the ones that have been made for them. Set in the near- present, Balloon Dog by professional ghostwriter Daniel Paisner turns on the ill-conceived theft of a high-end Jeff Koons sculpture, lifted in plain sight from its perch beside a luxurious mountain home in Park City, Utah, and follows the musings, misadventures, and meeting of minds of a Long Island writer in midlife crisis and the art thief behind the ill conception.