Nonfiction Book Award Status: Gold
Michele was a successful thirty-two-year-old school principal and married mother of two, when she woke up one morning and could no longer hear. Doctors could offer no explanation. She spent three frustrating and desperate years searching to make sense of the medical mystery, but doctors told her there was little chance she would ever hear again. Even as she came to accept this bleak diagnosis, she never stopped looking for answers. Why would this suddenly happen to a fit young woman in her prime? Then one day, a colleague asked, “What is it, perhaps, that you don’t want to hear?” Michele was intrigued by this question. From that moment, she opened herself with curiosity to a path of self-discovery which led her back to the many silences of her childhood in which she had left parts of herself behind. As she began to tune in to her inner voice, her well being flourished. She began expressing herself in new ways and speaking up. But her twelve-year marriage began to unravel. What began as a mission to regain her hearing became a journey of facing unspoken truths and breaking the silences that keep us trapped in the past. This Kind of Silence is an inspirational story about gratitude for the small blessings in life, learning to listen again, and the quiet joys of stillness amidst the noise.
Michele Susan Brown is a writer, author, and speaker based in Northern California, where she lives with her husband, two dogs, cat, and the wild birds that visit her backyard feeders. A former elementary school teacher, principal, and district-level administrator for eighteen years, Michele now spends time following her passions: writing, meditation, exercise, time in nature, swimming with wild dolphins in the Bahamas, and traveling on unique adventures all over the world with her husband, Gordon. Michele enjoys connecting with others and engaging in deep discussions about the importance of listening to our own intuition, being brave and vulnerable, and the freedom found in authenticity and truth.