Silence: a novel by
William Carpenter

Honored with a Gold “IPPY”

the Independent Publishers Book Award

for Military/Wartime Fiction

Silence, a means of probing inward:
Bill’s TV interview ahead of 9/11

Listen to NPR review

“Beautifully written, with a poet’s eye for language, Silence explores themes of redemption and the search for peace in a world of chaos.” — Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors

Award-winning author William Carpenter examines the bitter legacy of 9/11 and terrorism in this novel exploring the nature of conflict and loss. Nick Colonna is a young veteran returning from Iraq to his hometown on the coast of Maine after an IED explosion has killed his entire crew and left him deaf. Struggling with trauma and loneliness, haunted by images of combat, Nick finds work and some solace on nearby Amber Island, a private sanctuary owned by a Boston family and its illustrious patriarch, Marsden Fletcher. The family is set on building a resort on the island, much to the despair of the youngest Fletcher daughter, Julia, who stumbles upon Nick as he settles into becoming the island’s caretaker. As Nick battles his inner demons, Julia fights her family, and Amber Island faces development, Carpenter raises many questions about what survives carnage and loss, and where in a divided and chaotic world is there room for peace and silence.


The IPPY awards are out, with a Gold Medal for Silence.

Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards has chosen Silence
as a 2021 finalist for best book in the War & Military category. Judging of the thousands of entries was done by a panel of more than 100 librarians and booksellers.

Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance has chosen Silence as one of the finalists for its fiction prize.

Hear Bill talk about Silence on WERU and the podcast Conversations from the Pointed Firs

See Bill discuss Silence with art critic Carl Little.

“Carpenter places you in that space between the world we intended for ourselves and the world we are given. He walks us hand in hand with the characters as they try to let go of their hopes and dreams while moving through the grief, loss, disruption and chaos that is left when their reality suddenly changes.” — Adam Cote, Iraq war veteran and recent Maine gubernatorial candidate

Silence immediately put me in mind of another great American war novel, Johnny Got His Gun.  This is a story that demonstrates there’s no loss that can’t be redeemed by the sacred, no wound that can’t be healed, however incompletely, by reacquainting ourselves with that which is simple and pure.”  — Ron Currie, Jr., author of God is Dead, Everything Matters!, and Flimsy, Plastic Little Miracles.

“With echoes of such classic war writings as Dalton Trumbo’s Johnny Got His Gun, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Carpenter’s novel does not hold its peace in exploring the wages and sins of our destructive nature. You might say the silence is deafening — and demanding of our better selves. — Carl Little, Rabkin Lifetime Achievement Award-winner


Find Silence at these booksellers:

Indie Books

Islandport Press

Barnes & Noble