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Severe Silence

Severe Silence is the story of a young woman who "sang easily, passionately, unselfconsciously" until she fell in love with a jealous, controlling man. She reassured and placated him during outbursts of rage, attempting to be a "proper" wife, but found herself defeated. Lonely, subdued, and silent, she finally gathered the strength to escape, only to find herself in deep despair. Battling fear and self-doubt she began the journey toward rediscovering her voice and beginning a new life. 

Ava Carmel tells her story of self-awakening and healing using collage and poetry. The collages are intriguing, spare, powerful

and sometimes playful, incorporating pictures and words

torn from magazines and newspaper headlines.

If you too would like to escape from a troubled marriage,

this book will inspire you.

If you have already escaped, it will be like reuniting with a

close friend.

If you know a woman who needs encouraging, this book is

the perfect gift.

Advance Praise

A raw visual journey of a disaster that started with a wedding dress and ended with a pair of wings.” 

Suzanne Bailie, Playwright/Poet

“It’s a book about taking control and breaking free.  But rather than being a straightforward read, it’s like performance art on paper.” 

Judy Pearce

“The ending is beautiful.  It inspires hope and anticipation that this woman’s life is now on the right course and we, as the readers,

are waiting to see what beautiful world she is going to discover.” 

Cathy Osborn, Victim Advocate for the Boulder County Sheriff's Office

Read a book review on
Read the interview with Ava Carmel,
author of the month, on BookHive.
Amazon Customer Reviews

"I loved this book - it is a real gem. It evokes the transforming passage of a woman from stifling marriage to a new search for identity and fulfillment. All this is expressed in an innovative way - collages which are striking in their visual impact and word-play, accompanied by beautiful poetry and imagery. It is deep, plain-spoken and it rings true. The author brings to life the experience of pain, of searching and of hope in a way which can resonate in all of us. Quite an amazing accomplishment! "


"wow! it took me a few times to open this powerful book until i could go from cover to cover....the collages are so deep and thought provoking and beautiful, and the text is so potent and poetic, and the narrative is so painful and true and touching, that one needs to go slowly again and again in order to really appreciate this gift to women that ava carmel has brought out in the world. her story is too common for comfort, and her courageous path is full of many of the nuances that are all part of that huge tapestry of divorce. i highly recommend this book for its message, beauty and power."

Eileen Lev

"i loved it and i could feel her journey as a woman. it was beautiful, it was moving, it was delicious, and it titillated the spirit. but i know there is a lot more. i rarely read poetry and i gobbled up every word. the words at the end reflected a woman becoming bright and shiny and vibrant. but the colors were still in a mat based paint and my gut told me that i read about a woman that was transformed. i would like some more direct and clear insights in the graphics."


“Severe Silence” is experiential reading. The collages call to be appreciated and deciphered. The poems draw the reader in and leave an impression. This book is fascinating and illuminating. It’s a view into the reality of some marriages, and this view can be disturbing but is important. It's a powerful book."

Renee Rothberg

"This book is a powerful and raw presentation of the transformation of agony and despair to the breakthrough of the light of liberation. Artist and author Ava Carmel's multifaceted gifts display intuition, honesty,beauty, audacity and poetry, coming together and inviting us to be part of the healing process."

Amazon Customer

Readers Favorite Review

"Severe Silence: A Narrative in Poetry and Collage by Ava Carmel is a powerful book that chronicles the transformation of a woman from that of a silent wife to that of an outspoken and independent woman, and how she found her voice. The author aesthetically blends poetry and collages to create a unique book that not only speaks about her feelings and the trauma she underwent, but also showcases her moods and thoughts through the collages shared in the book. The emotions and the frustrations she was undergoing, the powerlessness, voicelessness, and her struggle to break free from the shackles of an unhappy marriage have been put down beautifully in this collection of poetry and collages, where she expresses her unhappiness and helplessness differently from what is usually seen.

Her poetry and collages highlight the starkness of her feelings and give an excellent creative and eclectic vibe to the book. Her personal style of writing and way of expressing are avante-garde and highly exclusive. It’s original, unique, and straightforward, and connects well with readers. The idea of capturing a broken marriage with the help of collages is highly artistic, different, and her description of domestic abuse and a dysfunctional marriage comes out well through these collages and her words.

The poems are minimalistic, stark, and capture the author’s pain and agony effectively, yet her words are strong and powerful and they leave lasting memories in the minds of readers. Her poems and collages capture the essence of her emotions and feelings, are unapologetic, and will give hope to a lot of women who are suffering from domestic abuse. I just loved it. Haven't read a good poetry book like this in recent times."

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorites

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