“The Echo of Silence,” by Dr. Louis Campbell, innocuously presents as a love story, but there is a dimension to this story that goes well beyond the relationship of two people. The setting is Victorian New England. The two main characters, Zebulon and Gamine, develop strong feelings for each other through written correspondence, having never spoken to each other in person.
They desire to meet, but remain separated by distance and circumstance. Gamine is put through a time of hardship and uncertainty that becomes an emotional pressure-cooker for both she and Zebulon. This is the crucible that reveals their depth of character and emotional honesty, making the reader want to borrow their admirable personas and wear them.
Notwithstanding the ugly threads of human corruption that run throughout every culture, we are made to feel envious of the times in which these people lived. The author takes us into their culture, and there we find a world that reflects a higher sense of human dignity in the attire, social protocol, and cultural cohesiveness of those days.
It is a culture that provides a sort of ambient light that makes the dark side of humanity no match for its better guardians. Zebulon and Gamine are those better guardians. Through their introspective journeys, we are led to a happy ending, getting a taste the sweet waters of clear values and right choices. We are left with some notion of just how wonderful a Christianized society can be, and we are compelled to consider from whence we have fallen as a people.
This story has an extra twist to it I shall not give away here. I will only say that it makes the story all the more compelling and soul-searching. I know that I have discovered great writing when it continues to affect me long after I finish reading. The Echo of Silence does that. I hope I feel its effect for a long time. It is uplifting and it has made me stronger.
Review by S. Talmond Brown:
Here is a link to that book: https://www.amazon.com/Echo-Silence-Louis-H-Campbell/dp/1607994585