“At What Cost Silence” by Karen Lynne Klink

At What Cost, Silence: The Texian Trilogy, Book 1 is the brilliant debut from author Karen Lynne Klink. The dramatic turns that affect the Villere family household over the course of more than a decade form the essence of the narrative while each chapter is seen through various characters’ perspectives. The accounts of Adrien and Bernadette are often the most poignant as the progression from youth to early adulthood comes with both triumphs and heartache.

The Villere family is a medium sized clan living in East Texas. The family’s patriarch, Paien, makes a fairly profitable living farming tobacco. He is married to the exquisite Madeleine and has five children. The Villere farm utilizes slave labor, yet Paien’s relationship with the African American men and women in his employ is atypical from the usual slaveholder/slave dynamic. Paien treats people like Marcus and Betta Holland with a modicum of respect. He expects his children to do the same.

Adrien Villere is the second oldest child of Paien (the first child from Paien and Madeleine’s union). Adrien longs for Paien’s approval, but is usually left at home while Paien takes his oldest son Lucien to work the fields. Lucien looks down on Adrien and openly mocks him. Adrien’s closest relationships are with his mother along with his sister Bernadette. His closest friend is Isaac Holland, the sole child of Marcus and Betta. Adrien sees Isaac as a brother, but the world they inhabit would never allow such a bond.

Karen Klink

The year is 1849, Texas is still a relatively new addition to the increasingly fragile union of the United States. The increasing calls for abolition of the wicked institution of slavery are just one aspect of life that threaten the Villere family’s status quo. Paien has been keeping a secret or two from his family that if revealed could divide them. As Adrien and Bernadette come of age, they will both cope with love, loss and the looming possibility of war.

By the conclusion of this wonderful novel, the reader will find themselves ready to dig into the continuation of this saga. A literary triumph from start to finish.


  1. Thank you so much for this wonderful and insightful review.

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