★★★★ Yoram B’Aror (Yori), an alien from Aurelia, is sent to gather information about life on Earth. Anna, an earthling, meets Yori while hiking the Caucasus Mountains in Russia and they fall in love almost instantly. Although it is forbidden for Yori to form attachments with anyone on Earth, he and Anna marry regardless. The couple, along with Anna’s mother, relocate from Russia to the United States where Anna gives birth to a baby girl, Rachel. Almost two blissful decades pass together before Yori’s home planet finds out about his relationship with Anna and he is summoned back to Aurelia to face the consequences. No longer on the same planet, communication through emails becomes the only way that Anna and Rachel can reach their beloved husband and father.
The Silent Contact tells the emotional story of a family torn apart while also touching on larger societal issues. In their email exchanges, Yori, Anna, and Rachel express their love for one another in between discussing the dire problems facing America, particularly the need for education reform. The storyline is not action-packed but rather offers interesting philosophical ideas for those willing to grapple with serious matters plaguing today’s world. Real events cited throughout the family’s emails to each other make the correspondence highly relatable for the reader. For example, Rachel tells her father about the Harry Potter craze and describes what she was doing during the 9/11 terrorist attack. While readers are left with questions about the planet Aurelia and the fate of Yori and his family, that seems intentional; for the future is ours to determine.
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