Click on any of the following titles to read their respective reviews.
Trust comes easily for a ten year old. At first Maria is not afraid because she knows and trusts her kidnapper. She had just had a wonderful birthday party and was in her bedroom. No one thought that the daughter of a Sicilian Mafia boss would ever be kidnapped, especially a ten year old. But it happened!
This was the beginning of a nightmare that wouldn’t end. Sold into child prostitution and then ending up in a Holocaust death camp. She is abused and abused again. Does she stay sane? Does she keep her emotions in tact? What does it do to Maria after years of physical and emotional abuse? Being a mafia daughter isn’t helping her now? It started out as a ransom kidnapping but why wasn’t her wealthy Mafia father taking care of the ransom? A twisted turn happens years later when Maria becomes more powerful than anyone would have imagined.
The author basically gives you three strong women, but along with those strengths are the weaknesses also. The three women are Maria, Lynette who is the daughter of Maria, and then we have Brianna, the daughter of Lynette. We see the emotional sides of all three women. What, besides blood connects these three women? The author gives the reader a look into the mental health and how it is perceived by some. The determination of these women often led to their downfalls. Brianna loves her mother and often times her mother just up and leaves her. Why? Brianna will give up everything at last to find her mother one last time. On her search, she finds her grandmother, Maria. The reader gets to follow Maria’s search and the shock, love and shock again on finding her grandmother. She once again becomes a prisoner in a very nice, but extemely guarded place. After time passes, Brianna becomes wealthy and has so much power but there is a big downside to this. Read this emotional, interesting, book on the years of three women, each suffering in their own way. How the grand daughter of the mafia queen becomes what she has fought so hard not to be. The past carried on through three generations. A past and present that would be best to be forgotten.
Amazing read! You get the chance to be side by side through the trials, the horrors, the caring, everything that the characters experience. Be thankful that you are only experiencing it from reading a book, and not living it!
—Gayle Pace (Amazon.com)
The Sicilian Veil of Shame is the second book in the African Freedom Series by Lucia Mann. It is a continuation of the story readers were introduced in Rented Silence. In this book, Brianna follows her maternal grandmother’s story from Sicilia to a Nazi concentration camp to Africa back to Sicilia. The story tells the story of Maria Teresa Genovese, the only daughter of mafia boss of the powerful Genovese family. Her life was changed forever on the night of her 10th birthday when she was kidnapped from her bedroom. As the ransom plans don’t go as plan, Maria is soon sold to a brothel where she is soon sent to Auschwitz. She experiences the horrors of the infamous camp and set free when the camp is liberated on January 27, 1945. Brianna hears her grandmother’s story while trying to piece together the strange events which are occurring in the house. Can she find the secret that Maria is finding? Will she be able to find peace after learning her family’s torrid history?
The Sicilian Veil of Shame is a horrific story of the atrocities that human beings imposed of those they think are less than them. I didn’t find the book as emotional or horrifying as Rented Silence; however, it was still heartbreaking to read about a story of Maria’s trials. The things people have done and will do to others is beyond comprehension. The ending is shocking and leads to a possible third book to explore more of atrocities which happened around the world and still happen today. I highly recommend The Sicilian Veil of Shame.
—Jennifer Lara (“Observations from a Simple Life” blog)
Inspired by True Events
A white newborn, whose mother is desperate to spare her child the agony of life as a sex slave, is buried alive in the South African dirt and left for dead. After being rescued by a black runaway, the baby girl is raised in a village kraal surrounded by love and inspired by freedom … until her evil biological father locates her, steals her, and brutally abuses her over many years.
After suffering through such an ordeal, a woman could choose to live a life of mere survival, one that lacks the drive to participate in and contribute to the world around her. We would all understand that person’s preference to quietly insulate herself from society. But Lucia Mann chose, instead, to surpass mere survival by drumming up the strength to overcome her vulnerabilities, mobilizing the courage to extend beyond herself, and dedicating her life to freeing others from similar horrific plights.
You will not hear a “poor me” from Lucia Mann. Instead, you will see a woman who, after an excruciating childhood, learned to read late in life, educated herself in several noble professions, and used her journalistic talents to expose dark stories that yearned for sunlight. In 1998 Lucia transitioned from a successful career as a journalist to become a passionate global gladiator. Her weapons of choice have been books and organizations that punch modern-day slavery in the gut.
The first book in her African series, Rented Silence, is based on events in her own life. Lucia’s story takes you on a telling journey through post-WWII Africa. Her remarkable characters open readers’ eyes to the painful secrets of those times, and inspires them to treasure freedom and justice.
Africa’s Unfinished Symphony captivates its readers with stories of the intense conflicts that existed between archaic tribal customs and modern influences in post-WWII Africa. This book immerses its audience with historic African themes designed to jolt readers out of complacency.
A Veil of Blood Hangs over Africa tells the story of innocent women and children who were violently ripped from their peaceful homeland and herded into the filthy bowels of illegal slave ships, not able to anticipate the cruelty that lay ahead of them.
Lucia Mann does not tolerate complacency in herself or in others. She continually prods, exposes, demands, and rectifies until she can declare with certainty that the thrust of her verbal sword has brought down an evil perpetrator and/or rescued an innocent victim. Her resolve is sturdy and vigorous, and her passion is robust and unlimited.
Lucia, an award-winning author, is now busy working on the next book in her African series. Her upcoming volume will focus its attention on the grief, confusion, and fear of slavery, but also on the corresponding themes of love, dignity, hope, and justice.
Lucia Mann resides in British Columbia, Canada. You can help her report modern day slavery by visiting www.ReportModernDaySlavery.org, or learn about her books and articles at www.LuciaMann.com.
—Focus on Women Magazine
Rented Silence by Lucia Mann is the first book in the African Freedom series. It details the story of post-WWII Africa through the eyes of the innocent and the evil as the painful secrets of this dark time is revealed. From 1945 to recent past, Rented Silence speaks boldly about a growing problem.
The story is told in two parts. Part 1 opens in 1945, Anele, a 27 year old slave at the Hallworthy Manor, has been violated by her owner, the evil and malicious Lord Alan Hallworthy. One Christmas morning, she has had enough and she makes her escape. As she makes her way back home to the Tswanas Kraal, she discovers a newborn baby girl buried alive and gasping for air. She names her Shiya, the forsaken one. When she arrives at her village, the presence of a white child with a African woman causes an uproar which will soon in disaster. Anele and Shiya are separated and live their lives wondering what happened to the other? Shiya is renamed Lynette and is sent a path to silence. Part 2 opens in 1998 as Lynette has made a career of taking people out of brutal situations and bringing them to a life of safety. After she receives a devastating diagnosis, she reclaims her name and becomes Shiya again. She returns to her homeland for justice and revenge. She must share her secret past with her daughter as she tries to reclaim the life that was brutally taken from her.
Rented Silence is a hard book to read but eye-opening. It depicts the horrors in details that is heartbreaking and gut wrenching. The injustice that the characters endure at the hands of the powerful is indescribable. I can’t reveal too much of the story because it will give away major plot points. However, at the end of the book, the Ms. Mann includes a list of “55 ghastly, very sobbing yet little known facts about modern slavery/human tracking” and they are ghastly. To think of millions of adults and children who are sold into slavery through human tracking rings is heartbreaking. Ms. Mann’s goal in writing Rented Silence is to give a voice “to those who have suffered and are suffering brutalities and captivity.” She does an amazing job bringing a voice to the many suffering in silence. I highly recommend Rented Silence as an eye-opening story to a very real problem in today’s world.
—Jennifer Lara (the Observations from a Simple Life blog)
The horrors of slavery are vividly laid bare in Rented Silence, a tale that spans more than fifty years of African and international history.
The novel, by humanitarian and activist Lucia Mann, begins in South Africa in 1945, on a large, prosperous plantation. The owner, Lord Hallworthy, is an arrogant and utterly wicked “gentleman” who uses black indentured servants for his sadistic sexual pleasure. Nine-year-old Anele, who has fled her traditional Tswana village in a desperate search for paid work in a time of famine, soon finds that she, like so many others, will be Hallsworthy’s victim. She watches as he murders her sisters in cold blood. Then, weakened from beatings, she is forced to sign an agreement of indentured servitude (slavery in all but name), and becomes the perverted white man’s sex toy. She has little control over her life, but Anele remains inwardly strong and often prays for help. She attempts to save a young Italian girl who has been raped by Hallworthy, and succeeds in saving the life of the girl’s infant daughter, whom she names Shiya—“the forsaken one.” Shiya, with her light skin, is eventually taken away from Anele by force, to become the captive daughter of Hallworthy and his amoral spouse, who is unable to produce an heir. Hating and fearing her captors, she becomes mute, resolving never to speak to a white person.
This is a labyrinthine tale without geographical borders, as the international slave trade and the struggle to eliminate it have no borders. Renamed Lynette, the adult Shiya disguises her identity, escapes to London, travels to the Americas, and has a daughter of her own, Brianna. In the final portion of the book, Brianna, having become estranged from her mother, is searching for the mysterious and by now very wealthy Lynette, with only a few cassette tapes as clues to her whereabouts. Brianna’s frustration turns to desperation as she listens to the tapes and hears her mother pour out the anguished secrets of her tormented youth.
Retired freelancer Mann, who operates a website called Modern Day Slavery Reporting Center, has created an intricate tapestry that interweaves threads of past and present, of evil schemes and dark deeds contrasted with highlights of determination and self-sacrifice that reach across generations. Rented Silence is in part the author’s attempt to come to grips with her own upbringing in South Africa and elsewhere. The novel grapples with difficult truths conveyed in a complex story line that underscores, on nearly every page, one grim, inescapable fact: slavery has yet to disappear from the annals of human sin.
In Rented Silence, Lucia Mann succeeds in telling a gripping human story, while reminding us that the international slave trade still exists and should be combated.
—Hollywood Book Reviews (Nicole Sorkin)
The Setting: South Africa, 1945, a very rich plantation owned by Lord Hallworthy, Lord Hallworthy wasn’t exactly a nice man. You would think being a Lord, he would be a gentleman. Think twice. He is evil. He takes black slaves for his pleasure which is sadistic. The author writes of Anele, 9 years old who has been seeking some kind of paid work and soon finds herself under Lord Hallworthy’s control.She sees terrible things. Hallworthy kills her sisters, beats Anele severely and forced to sign an agreement that she become a slave and soon becomes his sexual play thing. She is a strong person who tries to help others. She prays for God’s help. She tries to help an Italian girl who Hallworthy had raped. From this rape, a child was saved and was named Shiya which means the forsaken one.Shiya becomes Hallworthy and his infertile wife’s daughter. In other words, she was being used to produce and heir for Hallworthy. Shiya retreats into herself and swears to never speak to a white person ever again. She becomes mute.
International slave trade has become of epidemic preportions. There are no lines drawn-no boundaries set. It happens every day in so many countries, even the USA. Slavery is a horrendous thing, no matter who it is. This story is a web that is composed of evil, dark acts and it also has acts of strength and determination throughout.This is a part of the author’s life from living in South Africa and other place. There’s evil and darkness everywhere. Everyone needs to keep their eyes open and if you see something that you think is not right, tell someone. The trafficking and the slavery won’t end unless we make it end, one incident at a time. This book is a taste of reality, big time.
—Gayle Pace (Amazon)
Without wishing to give anything away let me simply say what an awesome read this book is. The fact that it is based on true events makes it the more remarkable. If you like a book that is both compeling and heart wrenching then this is for you. A wonderful piece of work from a very gifted author. It’ll make you view your life with a new found sense of gratitude. Highly recommended.
—Mr. Beardie (Amazon.com)
—Margaret Chadwick Book Reviews
—The Indigo Quill. View Website.
Africa’s Unfinished Symphony highlights commanding characters who not only bring haunting racial clashes to life but also convey the intense conflicts that existed between archaic customs and modern influences. You will be captivated as you follow the convoluted path of Farida of the ancients battling to become Bertha of the modern world. But are the outcomes of her struggles the best results for her and her beloved Africa? This book will immerse you in historic African themes that will jolt you out of complacency and into compassion. Read the full review.
—Book Babe Book Reviews
I would not allow this one flaw to discourage from reading this tale however. Lucia Mann’s novel is exciting, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and truly an enjoyable read. It is a quick read that will continue to linger long after the last line has been read. If you are looking for your next compelling and thought-provoking read, I recommend picking up a copy of Africa’s Unfinished Symphony. I plan on reading Lucia Mann’s other two tales, and hope to hear more from her in the future. Read the full review.
—Book Blogs (Nicole Sorkin)
Journalist/Author Lucia Mann has penned a book that should be required reading for every member of the human family . . . But what makes this book so intensely dramatic is the innate beauty of the souls of these people – the work helped by the changes of recent past, and the desperate need to `complete the African symphony. Lucia Mann may just be in line for a peace prize for this novel. It pleads the reader to bolt into action – and understand the continuing conundrum that is Africa. Highly recommended. Read the full review.
—Goodreads (Grady Harp)
Africa’s Unfinished Symphony is riveting and a book I sat spellbound reading from cover to cover. It’s an amazing and an important work and highly recommended. Read the full review.
—Readers’ Favorite (Jack Magnus)
This was a very amazing read but I already knew that it would be based on her other books. I really enjoy the writing style of Lucia and how brilliantly she portrays the emotions of the characters without actually saying what they are feeling. I would highly recommend this and all Lucia Mann books to any avid reader with an interest in historical fiction and the days of slavery. This set of books really opens your eyes to the despicable acts committed against people just because they were black or where not of the same background of the slavers. It also makes you realise how horrible it must have been to be persecuted and made to feel less than human just because of your skin colour and nationality. In my opinion all people should be treated as equals no matter what the colour of their skin or where in the world they originate from. Not one life is worth more than another. Being respectful and accepting of all people is what the world needs. Lucia Mann books will always be a part of my book collection and I will most likely read them many, many more times as the years pass by.
—Margaret Chadwick Book Reviews
A witch doctor’s power and his ancient tribal ways cruelly collide with the force and authority of modern Africa viewed through myriad eyes. You will never forget these characters:
– A young girl forced to endure a painful, cruel and antiquated tribal custom
– The sole survivor of a vicious tribal massacre
– A nun who endures a physical assault that compels her to question her faith
– A disadvantaged school girl who is infected with HIV
– The translucent soul of a murdered friend
While the tale of South Africa in the wake of world war II is riveting, violent and cruel, it also is brimming with stories of kindness, compassion and courage. Africa’s unfinished symphony highlights commanding characters who not only bring haunting racial clashes to life but also convey the intense conflicts that existed between archaic customs and modern influences. You will be captivated as you follow the convoluted path of Farida of the ancients battling to become Bertha of the modern world. But are the outcomes of her struggles the best results for her and her beloved Africa? This book will immerse you in historic African themes that will jolt you out of complacency and into compassion.
I would like to thank the author for the chance to read another of her amazing books. This is the second book that I have read by Lucia Mann and it has lived up to the expectations that I had about how much I would love this book based on the first book I read. I am positive that this book will be in my collection for many years to come and that I will settle down in front of the TV with this book many more times in the future. I plan to buy all the rest of Lucia Mann’s books.
What an engrossing story, so skillfully told! The author brings to life the immense problems facing Africa with its colonial heritage of Whites viewing Natives as less than human; and now Blacks are re-discovering their spiritual roots and trying to cope with today’s world. This story of a young girl, born in the bush and thrown into modern times after many brutal experiences, opens one’s eyes to the reality of Africa.
RENTED SILENCE CBC Book Award
Lucia Mann was given the Bronze Award by “Character Building Counts Book Awards,” in recognition of raising awareness of human trafficking, through her many writings and publications.