The Dignity of Silence.

By June Felton

Reviewed by Gloria Deutsch

Published by The Book Guild, £9.95.

Available on Amazon and Kindle.

June Felton was one of the most talented people I knew. She painted wonderful portraits, invariably catching the likeness of her subjects; she wrote several novels, her latest being the subject of this review. Her husband, Anton, is also a prolific author, Bertrand Russell's archivist and a world expert on Jewish carpets. They are also dear friends of many years. Oh, and did I mention that she was also an incredible cook?

Her latest novel, 'The Dignity of Silence', has just been published, a very readable page-turner, set in London, with visits to Israel and Prague woven into the plot. It's written in an easy conversational style which yet reveals her extraordinary insights into the vagaries of human nature. (For many years, June ran a school for autistic children in London and became an acknowledged expert on the subject.)

The book follows the life of Ernst, a Czech Jew who escapes to England in 1942 with his two-year-old daughter Sophie, and with the help of his Christian in-laws, his wife having died in childbirth. Ernst prospers and Sophie grows into a sensitive and insecure adult, married to an unfaithful husband. Suffering from post-natal depression, she meets two other women with the same problem and they become inseparable friends, providing her with the love and support she needs.

A visit to Prague with her old father helps her come to terms with her problems as well as adding more surprise revelations to the story.

For readers who like their books to be clear and well-written, without too much in the way of rhetorical flourishes, but with an inspiring plot, this is for you.

June Felton passed away on March 30, 2022, the day this magazine was published