TAMPA, FL -- (Marketwire) -- 12/21/11 -- In her new novel, "Rented Silence," author Lucia Mann (www.luciamann.com) explores the real-life atrocities, victims and heroism during a brutal era of British colonialism. The story of slavery, in many forms, spans continents and decades but focuses most sharply on World War II and its aftermath.
It centers on Shiya, a child born in 1950 to an Italian mother who was sent to a concentration camp, survived, and ended up as a sex slave in South Africa serving a white "master." Shiya's mother gives birth while on the run and abandons the baby, who is taken under wing by Anele Dingane, a black servant. Five years later, Shiya is snatched by her father who is married to a woman who despises the little girl who they rename Lynnette. From then, Lynnette/Shiya is relegated to a childhood of unspeakable pain, sorrow -- and silence.
In 1998, Shiya is living in British Columbia when she develops an inoperable brain tumor. Impending death unlocks her years of silence and she finally begins to tell her story. The tale sends her only daughter, 23-year-old Brianna, chasing across the world in search of the truth.
The story gives voice to people who lived its nightmares, suffered its atrocities and showed rare courage, says Mann, who was born in the wake of World War II in South Africa.
"For more than 60 years, voices that were never heard, lives that were never vindicated, and bravery that was never honored have been festering in my mind," she says. "'Rented Silence' is a novelized tale based on lives of some real people and events, and most of the ghastly incidents reflect experiences that have touched my life personally and directly. However, to protect the privacy of the individuals involved, names, professions, and descriptions were altered."
This is a story of slavery, an unconscionable condition that persists today, Mann notes.
"The wrongs of the past must continue to be exposed so that they can be righted in the present and future," she says. "This means educating society about evil and injustice and motivating people to take steps to ease others' pain and anguish."
About Lucia Mann
Lucia Mann is Sicilian-bred, born in British Colonial South Africa and is a citizen of Britain and Canada. She retired from freelance journalism in 1998.