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Mahlia Lynn Schubert, a University of Chicago graduate, has taught all grade school levels and English at Long Beach City College and LA Harbor College. She has written several prize-winning poems and stories, and has published a poetry anthology, Song of Eli’s Child. Her novel, The Silence and Beyond was inspired by the tragic loss of a girlhood friend. She lives in California with her husband, Roy. Contact her at email@example.com.
The Gift and Burden of an Extraordinary Friendship…Elizabeth Hartung is noticeable everywhere she goes: beautiful, unbelievably brilliant, unconventional, and troubled, “Bethie” seems to walk a lonely path. But with her on that path is poet and journalist Carol Mandell, her only friend in high school, drawn irresistibly to Bethie’s charismatic and powerful personality, even as Bethie finds grounding and solace in Carol’s thoughtful, sensitive, quietly courageous character. The two girls blossom together into young womanhood at the University of Chicago, in the heart of 1960s civil rights and feminism, while also trying to come to terms with their own needs as children of Holocaust survivors. Their lives diverge; Carol chooses marriage and family, and Bethie blazes a trail of intellectual accomplishment and sexual freedom. But when Carol, in her settled and stable life, receives a suicide note from Bethie, everything she thought she knew about herself will be called into question. She embarks on a psychological, emotional, and spiritual journey to find out what happened to her dearest friend…and what has happened to Carol herself as the years slipped away. Insightful, richly characterized, and suspenseful, The Silence and Beyond is a beautifully observed story of the ways in which our closest friends mirror, challenge, and support us.