Book Reviews

Read some of the reviews and critical acclaim for Lucia Mann's work.

It is hard for a person to get more worldly than Lucia Mann. The journalist-turned-activist-turned-novelist has traveled to the farthest reaches of the globe. She likes dangerous places. Where life is cheap is where Lucia wants to go. Her Sicilian blood makes her curious. She is an adventurer who wants to help. She brings the struggles of the world’s victims to today’s readers.

Lucia’s latest novel, The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in The Salvadoran Heartland is set in the Latin American country where one human crisis follows another. The main character is Estrella Lozano, a young woman caught up in revolution, repression and the CIA backed government.

El Salvador, as were many countries in Latin America, was caught between to primary powers, the United States on one hand and Cuba and communist satellites of the Soviet Union on the other. Lucia relays in her introduction a history of conflict and geopolitical factors at work in El Salvador. She writes: “Equivalent to 0.08% of the total world population, El Salvador is known to have been beleaguered by violence and overwhelming crushing poverty due to over-population and class struggles in which most Salvadoran citizens were affected.”

In an online interview with PRIMO in August, Lucia claimed her experiences as a journalist led her to write her latest novel. “Fluent in Spanish, I traveled to El Salvador in the late 80s to uncover the ‘truth’ about the United States government’s involvement in this ‘dirty’ war,” she says. “It was my personal interactions with a couple of rebel fighters and several impoverished, downtrodden Salvadorans that inspired my latest book, which has taken many years in the making.”

Although much of the book covers events of the last 40 years in El Salvador, the author provides important background about the main character Estrella. She comes from a family with deep yet complex roots in Latin America. There are connections to native tribes in the Amazon and Christian missionaries.

The Little Breadwinner is a fascinating novel that transports readers to the dangerous geopolitical struggles of El Salvador and other countries in Latin America. When asked in her interview if things have improved in El Salvador, Lucia said: “As a matter of fact, it is far worse since the civil war ended. Today, this Latin American country remains in the grip of fierce gang violence. My concern is that many Salvadorans are facing a death sentence.”

PRIMO Magazine

The Little Breadwinner by Lucia Mann is, as the subtitle suggests, a tale of war and survival in El Salvador, a story that captures the devastating experience of the Civil War from 1980 to 1992. It is often said that when elephants fight, the grass suffers, and this book is a powerful statement that crystallizes the saying. The author plunges the reader into a world of chaos, where tyranny takes control of the streets and where vulnerable people suffer from the atrocities committed by the military firing squad. It is against this backdrop that Estrella Godwin Lozano, a woman
traumatized by the horrors orchestrated by the National Guard soldiers outside her pueblo home, takes up arms and joins the Sandinistas to seek revenge. Can she survive the struggle?

This is an engrossing historical narrative that explores the misery of war and as one reads, one is appalled at man's inhumanity to man, the horror of war, and what the quest for power can lead to. The book is written in a highly descriptive style and the author takes readers on a painful journey down the path of history. As I read this book, I couldn't help but think about situations in other countries like Cameroon where the military wage war against civilians and where children and the most vulnerable suffer. Lucia Mann's book isn't written to entertain readers, but to draw
their attention to facts about war and how cruel it is to support it. The descriptions are strong, the prose beautiful, but it is the humanity of the characters, the resilient spirit of a female protagonist that makes the story a gripping read. The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland is a heart-wrenching story of the Civil War in El Salvador, written with a lot of clarity and passion.

—Christian Sia, Readers' Favorite

The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland is a harrowing tale about the many faces of war, written by Lucia Mann. The book folds and unfolds the narratives of several generations across different lands and times, but perhaps the biggest feat of the read is that it offers an account of the civil war of El Salvador. What is more, the author was on location at the time of the civil war so the subject has an added personal resonance.

If you are not familiar with the Salvadoran Civil War (1979-1992), this is a great opportunity to learn about it. At the beginning of the book, you can find a map and chronology of the events that serve as a general guideline for the pages that follow. The two sides that were in conflict for more than 12 years were the military-led junta government and a coalition of left-winged groups, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The US-funded government death-squads conducted a methodic terror campaign against civilians that added up to a long list of human rights violations (forceful recruiting of child soldiers, massacres, attacks, and rapes). A lot of people were killed and a lot of people simply disappeared. Their exact number remains unknown, but the UN reports a victim count of over 75,000, as far as those killed during the long civil war. It all finally ended with the Chapultepec Peace Accords.

The Little Breadwinner encompasses the civil war, but goes beyond it and captures some of the late after-effects of a tough decade. Lucia Mann starts with some apparently disjointed cold facts about the Salvadorian Civil War, but as the pages progress, her approach turns more personal as she tells us a multi-generational story. She frequently interjects with personal observations and comments that sometimes jolt the reader out of the immersive experience.

One of the main characters is Estrella Godwin Lozano, a person with a short stature that becomes “the little breadwinner” for her family living in poverty. She is the descendant of the Waorani tribe from the Amazonian rainforest. Her birth mother was a gifted tribe member and her gift passed down between generations being particularly strong in Estrella’s case. Yet, this special soul was not ordained for an easy life; she faced many hardships and challenges, the worst of which was brought on by the civil war.

The Little Breadwinner reveals the personal narratives of the victims of the Salvadorian Civil War. The book is based on real events but presents these in a fictionalized form. Lucia Mann, a passionate and worldly activist, a prolific writer, tells yet another unique story about the oppressed and suffering trying to fight against the current of fate.

—Barnes & Noble reviews
5 out of 5 stars. An Excellent Read!

The Little Breadwinner: War and Survival in the Salvadoran Heartland is a harrowing tale about the many faces of war, written by Lucia Mann. The book folds and unfolds the narratives of several generations across different lands and times, but perhaps the biggest feat of the read is that it offers an account of the civil war of El Salvador. What is more, the author was on location at the time of the civil war so the subject has an added personal resonance.

If you are not familiar with the Salvadoran Civil War (1979-1992), this is a great opportunity to learn about it. At the beginning of the book, you can find a map and chronology of the events that serve as a general guideline for the pages that follow. The two sides that were in conflict for more than 12 years were the military-led junta government and a coalition of left-winged groups, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN). The US-funded government death-squads conducted a methodic terror campaign against civilians that added up to a long list of human rights violations (forceful recruiting of child soldiers, massacres, attacks, and rapes). A lot of people were killed and a lot of people simply disappeared. Their exact number remains unknown, but the UN reports a victim count of over 75,000, as far as those killed during the long civil war. It all finally ended with the Chapultepec Peace Accords.

The Little Breadwinner encompasses the civil war, but goes beyond it and captures some of the late after-effects of a tough decade. Lucia Mann starts with some apparently disjointed cold facts about the Salvadorian Civil War, but as the pages progress, her approach turns more personal as she tells us a multi-generational story. She frequently interjects with personal observations and comments that sometimes jolt the reader out of the immersive experience.

One of the main characters is Estrella Godwin Lozano, a person with a short stature that becomes “the little breadwinner” for her family living in poverty. She is the descendant of the Waorani tribe from the Amazonian rainforest. Her birth mother was a gifted tribe member and her gift passed down between generations being particularly strong in Estrella’s case. Yet, this special soul was not ordained for an easy life; she faced many hardships and challenges, the worst of which was brought on by the civil war.

The Little Breadwinner reveals the personal narratives of the victims of the Salvadorian Civil War. The book is based on real events but presents these in a fictionalized form. Lucia Mann, a passionate and worldly activist, a prolific writer, tells yet another unique story about the oppressed and suffering trying to fight against the current of fate.

—Timea Barabas

Endless Incarnation Sorrows is a daring literary feat of an inter-generational tale that closely follows a soul across its rebirths. Triggered by true events, Lucia Mann shares her personal insights into what was and what might come to be. Following repeated resuscitations, she starts un-forgetting her previous selves. Thus many seemingly disconnected lives scattered across time and space are connected by an invisible string that pulsates throughout the pages of the book. Lucia Mann takes us on an inspirational inward journey, by unveiling the darkest corners of her past and present.

One of the features that makes the read stand out is how gripping all the characters are. Since, the main players shift between the scenes of this play of life, the reader has a narrow window of opportunity to become emotionally invested. Yet, Lucia Mann successfully outlines convincing and enticing personages that faithfully act out their destiny in front of our eyes. And through these harsh lives we can see and to a certain extent even feel some of the hardships that plagued humanity and continue to do so. The first incarnation, Lala bares the burden of her parents’ incest and her desert exile ends in enslavement; Lyveva surpasses her victim status branded upon her by Vikings to become a healer; Lucja experiences the lowest and highest of humanity within the Auschwitz fences.

The sands of time uncover various taboo subjects, ushered away by our consciousness, such sensible subjects that we would much rather turn a blind eye to. While these practices are presented in a contextual fashion, as an integral part of a certain period in history, some survived into our present under various forms, themselves being subjected to a string of reincarnations. Behind the front narrative of survival and redemption of a lost soul, there is a strong underlying outcry for the incarnation of social practices that embrace numerous souls.

All in all, Endless Incarnation Sorrows is hard to put down; there is always an immediate sense of peril or surprise on the next page. While, the subject and the writing style makes the read appealing to a wide audience, there are some details that steer the direction toward an adult or young adult group. Lucia Mann does not shy away from topics that are now deemed taboo and this piercing truthfulness might just be the secret ingredient that keeps the reader on this magically painful and eye-opening journey that the author initiates.

—Timea Barabas, BestSellersWorld.com

Lucia Mann, retired journalist, humanitarian and activist, puts her heart and soul into her powerful books, they are a voice to those who have and are still suffering the brutalities of captivity. She was born in British Colonial South Africa and writes from personal experience, bringing vividly to life the horrendous suffering she has undergone, and witnessed happen to others. She is a voice for the unheard, and the oppressed.

This book was inspired by the author’s own experiences after being resuscitated for the third time after her third surgery when she became aware that she was experiencing regression deep into the past. She discovered that the stories of the lives of those of her bloodline who came before her were being told to her, and as the flashbacks became more vivid Lucia decided this was a story which had to be told, and so she put pen to paper . . .

Reincarnation is believed possible in many religions, as is the belief that the sins of the father (or mother) can be passed on to the son (or daughter.) This story begins when Lucia takes us back to the Judean desert in 609 BCE and a band of Hebrew women travelers, pregnant Rebekah, her mother Tikva, and their two paternal cousins Abriyah and Yokova. The women are fleeing their tribe. Why, because Rebekah has committed a terrible sin against Yahweh (God), a sin so horrendous that the penalty, should they remain would have been her death.

Tikva has decided that it is better to chance a nomadic life in the desert than witness the death by stoning of her beloved daughter. However, sometimes the burden of consequences of an action can be just too hard to bear, and when Rebekah gives birth to her daughter Lala the child has yellow eyes like a goat, strange skin and hair colors, disability, and a birthmark. She has been cursed by Yahweh, because of the sins of her parents, and unable to live with the knowledge and bear the shame Rebekah commits suicide. Lala, is brought up by her adoring grandmother, believing she is her daughter until the hand of fate step in and begin a chain of events which will change her life forever.

Thus the curse began and is destined to continue as we discover in this spellbinding story as the author takes her readers on a journey which crosses continents and spans generations. Through the lives of these women, the descendants of Rebekah bas Sora we learn how cheap life can be, how fickle human nature can alter lives and change fortunes inconceivably, the horrors of child prostitution, slavery, and the ravages of war. Through the centuries we travel the globe to such places as Africa, Egypt, the court of Pharaoh Cleopatra, the Spanish Inquisition to Britain, Norway, and the concentration camps of WWII. With each new birth, and lifetime, we learn something new, and amongst the horrors come to realize also that human nature has a deep-seated instinct for survival, and that there are good people in this world too.

In Summary: Can we be reincarnated? Are the sins, transgressions, and traits of those who came before us in our genes, our very existence? And also, can love span the centuries and will soul mates eventually be reunited in another time and place? So many questions, will you discover the answers in this compelling story like I did? Extremely Highly Recommended.

—Susan Keefe, TheColumbiaReview.Com

Lucia Mann wears proudly her ethnic mix.

Born in British colonial South Africa, she has both British and Canadian citizenship and is now trying to become an American citizen. And yet she considers herself Sicilian since that is the land of her ancestors and that is the culture she upholds.

A journalist by profession, Mann has devoted herself to uncovering the hard, ugly truths of modern slavery. Human trafficking has become an international problem. Reports are many, and seemingly increasing every day, of young woman from the poorest regions of continents transported to other countries, mostly in the west, where they are forced into prostitution.

Mann has written several books on the issue and now has added a work of fiction to her efforts; one that encompasses her Sicilian heritage, titled The Sicilian Veil of Shame.

A compelling novel that gives us Sicily’s past and present, The Sicilian Veil of Shame details aspects of the international slave trade. The story centers on Brianna, who searches for her mother Lynette, only to find her in Sicily living on the estate of grandmother, Maria Genovese. Both Lynette and Maria suffer similar fates. Lynette, abandoned in South Africa as a child, was abused by those who were her guardians. As for Maria, she who was kidnapped in the village of Solcchiata when she was 10 years old. Her father, the local Mafia don, refused to pay ransom, and Maria was forced into servitude. The story is important in light of the issue of international trafficking as the cycle of abuse often affects generations in a family of victims.

How to make peace with the past is Brianna’s struggle. She must delve into the circumstances of her grandmother’s abduction in order to understand the underlying estrangement of her family. All the while, Sicily beckons her with its pristine landscape and folkways. The author conveys Brianna’s feelings while driving through the Sicilian countryside. “Brianna was awed by the serene surroundings. Beneath a clear blue sky, late afternoon light carpeted the landscape with a kaleidoscope of hues: straw-colored fields, orange and yellow citrus groves, and earth-brown nut orchards. Sheep dotted the hillside, their heads bent as they grazed happily. A shepherd boy sat on a rock watching over them.”

The author continues the great tradition of historical fiction in informing and enlightening readers of important social issues through the experiences of engaging characters.

The Sicilian Veil of Shame is an engrossing work that springs forward, headlong, into uncovering the underbelly of forced servitude.
—Primo Magazine

Award-winning author, Lucia Mann was born in South Africa, and is a citizen of Britain and Canada. She was educated in London, retired from freelance journalism in 1998, and is the author of four other novels. She has herself been a victim of racial prejudice, she is a humanitarian, an anti-human trafficking activist, and her mission is to end prejudice and slavery now and in the future. She is the founder of The Modern Day Slavery Reporting Center at www.mdsrc.org.

From the moment you start reading this powerful chronicle of the life of Madeline Clarke, you are transported into her world, one which, from as a very young girl, is full of helplessness, betrayal, terror, bewilderment and fear. However, through the whole of this often heartrending story, there lies underneath a powerful person, one who has incredible inner strength and who, against all odds, manages somehow to pick herself up and carry on, even when the world and her own family turn against her.

The very fact that, although fictional, this story is based on facts makes it even more horrifying, especially that a young girl of mixed parenthood is abandoned in a South African Convent and then, whilst there, is subjected at the tender age of nine to a tubectomy. If this is not bad enough, not many years after, because of racism, she is kicked out of her country of birth and found herself living on the streets of Milan.

Salvation seemingly appears one day in the shape of Englishman David Blakely. Caring and kind, he seems like the answer to her prayers, until his true character is revealed and she finds herself living in his mother’s house as nothing better than a unpaid servant. However, the real character of this manipulative and controlling man is horrifyingly revealed when she suffers the first of her miscarriages and discovers that her childhood operation had been botched; his cruel uncaring nature is revealed, and she is mentally and physically abused.

Very early on we discover that Maddie has a ‘mind camera and video recorder’ to remember incidents, and that she has recurring dreams about the young Jewish exile girl Lela, and her love Hassam an Muslim Arab. However, it is not until the very end of the story that their relevance is truly revealed.

As the years go by, we follow Maddie’s traumatic life and are horrified by the things she has to cope with alone. After the birth of her first daughter Joanne, she leave David and has several serious relationships where she trusts completely that the person will be ‘the one,’ and is then hurt repeatedly. Her heartbreak is palpable when she miscarries, and I think it is truly amazing that she had the resilience and strength to carry on. Yet, she does find some true friends and people who care about her, and this she deserves. Her life takes a turn for the better when it is discovered that she has genius IQ and she is recruited by Security Service, Section 5, the antiterrorist squad. This new job requires her to change her name, and taking her daughter Mary-Jean with her, she is hired out and relocated to a U.S. nuclear submarine base known as Site ONE, Holy Loch.

Every parent knows that the teenage years can be difficult, and girls can be spiteful, but the sheer torture Mary-Jean and the mentally unstable third daughter Mara put Maddie through is horrendous! That Maddie can forgive them countless times for the rest of her life for the physical and mental harm they do to her and the lies they tell her is incredible in my opinion, but forgive them she does.

As a fly on the wall, traveling through this rollercoaster of a life with Maddie, what shines through is the incredible fortitude she has, and it is truly fantastic that, following a visit to a ninety-year old spiritual man, Haida Gwaii of British Columbia, in 2018 she finally reclaims her life and finds the strength to make the needed changes to her life.

In Summary: This is the incredible story about the life of an amazing woman who, against all odds, ‘survives’ terrible things and, happily, despite everything, eventually finds peace and love. Highly recommended.
Susan Keefe, TheColumbiaReview.com

Author and journalist Lucia Mann has created a dark, twisting fable of a woman’s trials and tribulations for sins she never committed.

The novel’s heroine, Maddie, is a child of rape, born in apartheid South Africa, daughter of an acceptably light-skinned father and an unacceptably dark Italian mother. It seems her birth is an augury of the strained, bizarre and often wretched life that is to come. As a young teen she is sent back to Italy, but after being robbed, she is waylaid by a psychopathic young man who sees in her the perfect victim, almost his personal slave. The couple settle in England, where she has been smuggled, possessing no legal papers. With him, though they have a life of mostly mute hatred, she has two daughters. From an early age her daughters, whom she loves with all her heart, begin to malign her, perhaps influenced by their evil father. A third daughter from another relationship only compounds the issues, seeming not only to despise her mother but also to be afflicted with many layers of mental illness. Throughout her child raising years Maddie, who has a very high IQ, ekes out an existence at menial jobs, at one time working as a servant or slave to a fortunately kindly couple. A doctor befriends her and others see her worth as time passes. Eventually she finds decent work first as a journalist, then as a spy, utilizing her multiple languages and high intelligence finally to gain more than basic subsistence. When she meets Hernando, she believes her problems are over, but her daughters will not leave her in the peace she feels she’s earned.

Mann’s life has many parallels to her central character: like Maddie she was born in South Africa of Italian heritage and migrated to Canada where she worked as a journalist. Mann is a noted advocate for the rights of those treated unfairly because of their skin color and an upstanding spokesperson against international slavery and prejudice wherever found. She writes her story in multi-layered flashbacks, skillfully, one could say painfully, depicting the agonies and ever-present dangers that append to women without legal status. Like Maddie they are often assumed to be prostitutes, prey to slavers and other domineering males, and rarely able to establish themselves comfortably for very long. Mann also examines a rare form of abuse: that of parents by their children.

One senses that Mann’s novel was conceived in her own private pain and myriad memories, so well does she convey her heroine’s many sufferings to her readers. Many women will identify with some aspect of Maddie’s troubled trail, and will want to read more from this competent, empathic writer.—Pacific Book Review (Read Review Here)

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 author, Lucia Mann is a humanitarian and an activist. This story covers more than 50 years of history.

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)

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)

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.
—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

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.
—Ruth (Amazon.com)

This was an excellent read and I just couldn't bring myself to stop reading and put the book down. I am strongly against racism and slavery so it was saddening to read this book. This book outlines the true nature of slavery and how slaves were treated. It was very saddening to read how slaves were treated and that pretty much nobody cared enough to try and help them and that those who did care were disposed of by the rich and it was not investigated. Those who stood up for what was right where killed without there being any consequences. There is a mix of stories throughout this book that all interweave together. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to read historical accounts of slavery and the cruelty that slaves had to endure. This is a fictional book but the cruelty shown in this book would have been real for people who were actually slaves. This book is factual in how the slaves were treated and abused by their white masters even though the characters are not real. The white masters thought that they were above the law because they were rich and could afford to pay bribes. There are many issues faced in this book such as interracial marriage(which was illegal), racism(which is still as strong today as it was then) and the apartheid which meant that there was a separation between black and white people.
—Margaret Chadwick Book Reviews