Book reviews by
Shalini

Silent Voices By Fran Lewis – Book Review

American author Fran Lewis has written a variety of different books, from dark suspense novels to light-hearted historic fiction inspired by her own childhood.

Silent Voices By Fran Lewis - Book Review

Her book “Silent Voices” is one of the most divisive books she has written so far. Some people found it an interesting read, while others struggled to review the book at all. That’s why we decided to read “Silent Voices” and find out what the book is all about.

Here is our book review, together with a summary of the book and what other online reviewers think.

Who Is Fran Lewis?

Fran Lewis was born in New York City where she worked for over 36 years as a Reading and Writing Staff Developer. She has a number of degrees in Supervision and Administration.

As a children’s book author, she is also a member of the Who’s Who of America’s Executives from Cambridge and Who’s Who of America’s Teachers.

Fran Lewis’ books are often deeply personal. In addition to three children’s books that were inspired by her childhood, she has also written an Alzheimer’s book in honor of her mother and to create more awareness of the disease.

Lewis is also author of a range of different magazine articles as well as the editor of MJ Magazine in honor of her sister. In addition, Lewis is also the creators of different radio shows, including Chat Time with Fran Lewis hosted on Blog Talk Radio.

Fran Lewis is also a school newspaper editor and former musical director for different school shows.

Silent Voices: Book Summary

In “Silent Voices”, Fran Lewis presents seven individual short stories that reflect the voices of the dead. Each story has its own voice and story to tell. In “Silent Voices”, Lewis gives those who have passed a voice to speak their mind for one last time.

Some of the stories are very personal to Fran Lewis, such as the story relating to her grandmother. Through each voice, the reader learns their story and what it means to have passed over to the other side.

Lewis’ descriptive writing style picks up on thoughts, worries and feelings that some dead loved ones experience in their darkest hour. She also explores some of the stories that have never played out because death interrupted the lives of young and old.

Popular Reviews

Fran Lewis’ “Silent Voices” has received a wide range of reviews and comments online and throughout the press.

“Unique, haunting, terrifying, incredibly moving: Fran Lewis’ SILENT VOICES is all that and more as people tell spell-binding stories of their lives – and their deaths – from beyond the grave. You won’t forget this one!” – R.G. Belsky (The award-winning author of the Clare Carlson mystery series)

“Fran Lewis’s collection of seven short stories offer readers a glimpse at the dark side—some sad, some bittersweet, and some dark humor. You read about a young immigrant from Russia who never really adjusts to life in America. Another about a woman punished for daring to tell the truth. And there’s a grandmother who outwits three conniving granddaughters. Other stories reflect on a survivor of the Holocaust, a mean-spirited school teacher, a woman who gets her comeuppance, and three people who are revealed as con artists. Lewis has a skill, much like Poe, for revealing truths in the macabre.” – Michael on Goodreads.

“Silent Voices is a shrewd, sensitive and scintillating collection of short stories that make us feel and think. Noted talk show host Fran Lewis proves herself to be as skilled a storyteller as she is a listener, adept at both tugging on our heart strings and exposing the raw emotion between the lines. Her tales reach beyond the grave in fashioning rich tapestries drawn on a sprawling landscape at once both rich in color and gray-toned. A can’t miss effort certain to live with you far beyond the turn of the final page.” – Jon Land (USA Today bestselling author)

“Lewis has created an unusual collection of vignettes of voices from the grave. Some of the stories are a bit gruesome or macabre. Some draw attention to wrongs done. Some seem to include a moral lesson. They all remind us that voices cannot be silenced by death.” – Joan on Goodreads

“Once again, Fran Lewis knocks it out of the park with the latest in the Silent Voices series. At once chilling, but also inspirational, these stories do not fail to entertain. They will also raise the goosebumps on your skin. Prepare to be thrilled.” – Vincent Zandri (New York Times bestselling Thriller author of “The Caretaker’s Wife” and “The Remains”

Our Book Review Of Silent Voices

We have read some of Fran Lewis’ previous books, so we were really looking forward to “Silent Voices”. And we were not disappointed. Many of us have attended a funeral and perhaps some wondered what it must feel like to rest in one place forever.

Then, you may think about who lies beneath these gravestones, what lives have they lived and what stories could they tell.

It can take a little while to understand the book’s structure but it is essentially made up of seven short stories that tell the stories through the voices of different dead characters. Each voice is so individual that the reader is getting a feeling for each story.

Plus, Lewis’ descriptive writing style brings these anecdotes to life. We also learn that a couple of these stories are inspired by the author’s own history, her own grandmothers.

It is fascinating and also heart-warming to hear about the lives they have lived, and all the hardships they faced during their lifetime. But not all of the stories are chilling and eerie. There are also voices that tell of a past that we cannot ever imagine.

If you never wondered about the souls that lay underneath a gravestone, then just read this book to remind yourself that also the dead have stories to tell.

Other Books By Fran Lewis

Fran Lewis has also written a range of other books that are inspired by her own experiences and her work.

Bertha Speaks Out (2008)

In “Bertha Speaks Out”, young Bertha learns to find her own voice and speak up for what she believes is right. She refuses to be a scapegoat and she learns to enjoy her own imperfections.

My Name Is Bertha (2008)

In her second children’s book “My Name is Bertha”, Lewis continues the story of Bertha and how she stands up for her own beauty.

Bertha Fights Back (2009)

The third Bertha book from Fran Lewis follows Bertha as a young teenage girl. She is living in the Bronx and struggles with her looks, her time at school and general growing-up issues.

Bertha isn’t the perfect, pretty girl that everyone expects to see and like. Instead, she is uncoordinated and overweight. While her family and schoolmates are laughing at her, Bertha decides to use her smartness to her advantage.

Memories Are Precious: Alzheimer’s Journey: Ruth’s Story (2009)

In this incredibly heart-warming memoir, Fran Lewis writes about her mother’s journey with Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s and families are often left alone to deal with the aftermath of this terrible disease.

Lewis is trying to create awareness with her book of the good and bad moments that families share with their loved ones suffering from this illness. She also explores what it means to slowly lose someone over time, and watch them every moment walking closer to the grave. 

Faces Behind The Stones (2012)

This Fran Lewis’ first book of the “Faces behind the stones” series. Similar to “Silent Voices”, this book tells the stories of seven different characters that died far too young. The reader follows their tales and their chilling adventures until their untimely death.

Bad Choices (2012)

The choices that we make in our lives can affect how we live in the world beyond. Fran Lewis tells more stories of who lies beneath the surface of graveyards and cemeteries.

Lies, Betrayals, Fear (2013)

Fran Lewis’ third book in the “Faces behind the stones” series covers another range of horror stories from the grave.

Hidden Truths & Lies (2016)

There is always something that we wished we had known before something terrible happened. In this haunting ghost story collection, different characters talk about what they have learned before they hurt their loved ones or committed a crime.

These tales aren’t just eerie but they almost seem to come to life with Fran Lewis’ engaging writing style.

What If? (2020)

A collection of horror (If you like Horror Books, check out the works of Stephen King and how to read them) stories, “What if?” makes you wonder what would happen if life ever was normal.

Population Zero (2021)

The clue is in the title with this chilling thriller (If you like Thriller Books, check out the works of John Grisham and how to read them). Lewis explores what our world would look like if there was no human life anymore. She shows how fragile we are as a species and how quickly everything can come to an end.

Final Thoughts

Published in 2019, Fran Lewis “Silent Voices” is a haunting reminder to remember the dead and everything they have to tell.

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