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Defeating Silence: A novel/opera by Tanya Henderson

Readers' Comments Page

These are real*, unedited comments from real* readers or visitors to the website
*not like the ones on the home page.
You may add your comments and/or questions by filling out this form


Vesna from New York City writes:

This is one of the most emotional books I have read. It is beautifully written, entertaining and clever romantic story put into very original setting. I enjoyed every page of it and was completely immersed into the book. Now whenever I walk by the Lincoln Center (almost daily) I think about all of the characters and it makes me feel good. Hope this effect will last for awhile, I just finished the book yesterday. A reason I got curious about the book was opera, since I love it and a friend recommended it to me and lent to me his copy. However, for feeling/reading this book you do not need to know anything about opera. It talks about things that we all experience, but often ignore or are totally unaware of. I love it and I forwarded this link to all friends of mine that I think would share my excitement about the book.

I read this web site only after I finished the book, but in future I will pay more attention to online books. The handcrafted version I got looks great. I wish that all books had that simple, "old fashioned" covers, instead of all those covers with pictures, comments/ads, or even worse with photos of actors who portrayed characters once they made film based on a particular book.


dco (again) from Queens writes:

First of all, I apologize for judging your book before reading the whole thing. My earlier comment was not made by a "wise man" (I think my role in this book was Mr. Hull and his ilk). Honestly though, the book is rather difficult to get into which is why I put in down? (moved it to the trash bin?) in the first place. But after I told my wife about how annoyed I was with it, she dragged it out of the trash and read it. Then she told me it was worth reading it all the way through and that maybe I fell for a trap that you set for some people. So I read it and I really enjoyed it, it got much better after the third chapter and especially in the "Dreams" section.

About my comment about it being a fantasy with your favorite tenor was really wrong and just mean. I'm sorry. Also I think it's brave of you to post both good and bad comment about the book, I was surprized to see my comment included. And after rereading it you have my permission to remove it.

A humbled DCO in Queens


Angela from Enid, OK writes:

This is one of the most beautiful, emotion-packed books that I've ever read, and believe me, I read a LOT of books. I wish I could own a copy...or several of them so that I could give them to all of my friends and family. Thank you so much for your gift to all readers. This isn't a story were you need to anything about Opera. I sure didn't. It connects to anyone that has ever loved,lost something, or had trouble expressing their thoughts and emotions.

The only problem I see with this story is the definition of an Opera. Well, I don't know if I'd really call it a definition, but when the author says that an Opera has to be composed of the music, the story, and the understanding to really be an Opera, if it doesn't, then it is just a story with music, I don't agree entirely. I know this book was an Opera without music, but it was just as beautiful and emotion packed as anything could ever be. There are many "books" that can give someone the desired effect that Opera does to those that are fortunate enough to have experienced one. The really good books are the ones that tell a story that you feel you are witnessing and a part of with ever word and turn of the page. To me, that is the goal...that glimpse of perfection, and this e-book is one of them.


DF from TX writes:

I thought this was one of the most entertaining books I have ever read, it did bring me to tears. I recommend this book to anyone. I do not know Opera one bit, this book is for everyone. I will recommend it to my wife, I know she will love it as well. The people who don't want to read this, if they think it is slow, must not have emotions.

I can't believe somone/anyone would not want to read this, or you wouldn't want it published. You have it here for everyone to read, so you can't equate it to Juliana, not wanting something published, you just did it yourself. I don't get the interactive comments, I was not any character, but I was feeling all of them.


Amy B. from St Louis, MO writes:

As a tried and true opera fanatic I was a bit leery about reading this book; I thought since there was such emphasis on not having to appreciate opera to like this book that opera would once again be protrayed in its sterotyped manner.

Oh how wrong I was.

"Defeating Silence" has everything any opera fanatic would want in a novel, from references and similarities to a wide range of operas to details only true fans of the art would appreciate. So, to all those opera fans out there: THIS IS A MUST READ. Highly recommended to all opera fans and completely fulfilling (even without the music. : ) )

Thank you for sharing it with us.


Mark Gebbie from Melbourne, Australia writes:

This was an amazing read, even just taking it at the top level of a love story of 2 people who have lived successful lives trying to find each other again. There are very few books I've read that have left me close to tears.

But there are so many levels to this story I am going to have re-read it many times to try and discover everything. I couldn't put the book down, which considering I was reading it on my desktop PC, made for some interesting looks from other commuters on the train to work!

This is the sort of story I would love to write. I have passed the website onto other famly and friends, I really hope they get out of it what I did. And unbelievable that such an amazing read was all for free. That makes it even more special.

Thanks for the experience.


DLPB from Minnesota writes:

I was searching for on-line books to read and ran across "Defeating Silence." I read your disclaimer at the beginning of your website, but I think you do yourself an injustice by not having your work professionally edited and published. The story was wonderful, and after three afternoons of immersing myself in it, I was sorry to see it end.

I was a little confused at first by Julianna's reactions to Pierre, but eventually it began to make sense.

I told a friend about the story and gave her the link to your website. I hope she enjoys it as I did. Thank you for sharing your work.


lara from nyc writes:

I know I said I'd put my interpretation here but I can't do it without giving too much of the story away. I will say that I suggested this book for my reading group and we had one of the best discussions ever. Our interpretations were sooooo varied. It was great!. We did all agree on the claustrophobic feeling generated by the Pierre character. All of us (women) wanted him to stop smothering Juliana. Over all, it was a very enjoyable read and provided for a very animated discussion. Thanks


MDK from UK writes:

This is a fascinating story packed with themes but not overwhelmingly so. For instance, an ingeniously subtle one: the salmon theme. Pierre and Juliana run into each other over a salmon filet, nearly every other meal is salmon and quite a few humourous references to the salmon exist. I thought nothing of it until Juliana's allegorical statement to Yvette about the boats on the East River, struggling against the current. This brought to mind the salmon theme, a fish that swims upstream to spawn and die. Pierre is very much like this fish. He must fight the current ill-informed opinions and thoughts of not only his wife, but also his friends, the public, the press, and even his own to bring his dream to fruition before he dies (or so he believes and is afraid this might happen). This is only one of the many themes to be discovered in this thoroughly entertaining book, which deserves to be read in its entirety.

[edited at the request of the poster]


dco from Queens writes:

The first section of the book is aptly named Disappointment. It's trite, predictable and boring. There's no character development and it has a predictable plot that's repeated over and over. This book is nothing but the author's fantasy about having an affair with her favorite opera tenor. I couldn't even get through the third chapter. It might be free but it's not worth the time it takes to download it.


lara from nyc writes:

I just got the handcrafted book and WOW!!! it looks great!!! I can't believe you made this yourself. I just had to let you know right away how amazing the book looks. I'm going to start reading it tonight and you can be sure I'll post my interepretation after I finish. (It really looks amazing!)


lpw from NY writes:

This book is as intriguing as it is consuming. As you are reading this book, it pulls you in deeper and deeper almost as if reading the book is like a trip into Juliana's... well read the book and you can finish that sentence!!


GL from AZ writes:

I won't put my interpretation out there, but I'll make a comment that probably falls in the indifferent catagory. I found your book listed in the e-book directory and was caught by the description of it. After reading it, I can't say the book is as interactive as you make it sound. I did get hooked by the story and even finished it, which is not something that can be said for other online books I've come across. I was also surprised at the quality of the writing, too, much higher than I expected from an un-professionally-published online book. I'ts a great story and very funny at times. Good luck with it!


TMG from NYC writes:

I love the poems! It's so cool how you weave them into the story. I recommend everyone read this book. And she's right you don't need to know a thing about opera to enjoy this book.


xx from earth writes:

Why would anyone want to read your book with such an offensive website? I can understand why no one would want to publish your trash.


apc from ny writes:

I totally identified with Pierre (I'm only admitting this in my anonymity). I was thrown for a loop by the interview at the end and started rereading sections of it and found so many things I missed on the first time through, I ended up reading the entire thing again (Pierre-like). I can't tell you how different the first read was from the second one. I could swear it was a different book. I await the next book you mentioned you were working on.


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