Prairie Silence

  • by Melanie M. Hoffert
  • Narrated by Abby Craden
  • 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A rural expatriate’s struggle to reconcile family, home, love, and faith with the silence of the prairie land and its people.
Melanie Hoffert longs for her rural North Dakota home with its grain trucks and empty main streets. But like many, she followed the out-migration pattern to a more urban life. When she returns home during harvest to confront the silences that have kept her at arm’s length from her childhood community, she finds it’s not easy. When asked if she's found a “fella,” rather than explain that she dates women, she stops breathing and changes the subject.
In this evocative memoir, Hoffert offers a deeply personal and poignant meditation on land and community, taking listeners on a journey of self-acceptance and reconciliation.

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What the Critics Say

“The author’s mostly quiet narrative includes a wealth of haunting images and ideas that will linger long after the last sentence. A heartfelt love song to a place and its people as well as an honest and rewarding rendering of the author’s interior landscape.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“The quiet, lyric prose of Melanie Hoffert’s Prairie Silence crept into my days, making it impossible for me to stop turning pages. This book is about looking for oneself in places we are so often afraid to venture. A beautiful debut from a brave new writer.” (Claire Bidwell Smith, author of The Rules of Inheritance)
"Melanie Hoffert has written a gutsy, complicated book about the little town we both came from (but which she experienced in a much, much different way).” (Chuck Klosterman, author of Downtown Owl and The Visible Man)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An Expatriate from the Rural American Prairie

This memoir speaks to anyone who left “back there” for the big city, but realizes they never quite got away.

A gay woman, who was never seen by anyone in her small North Dakota town as anything but a cipher, finally leaves her claustrophobic but compelling rural life behind for downtown Minneapolis.

Now, years later, she wants to go back home to visit. Everyone from her childhood asks her if she’s found a “fella” yet. Cue the sweaty palms and abrupt subject changes.

Magnificent writing. You’ll understand the true meaning of “prairie silence” in the first chapter.
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- Susie

Great story!

What did you love best about Prairie Silence?

I loved the connection to the Midwest rural lifestyle. Many of our families are separated when rural America doesn't accept our kids.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Melanie, of course, was my favorite. Her journey through adolescence and young adulthood was so familiar to all of us.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I didn't have any extreme reactions. I have a child who is gay, who has fewer complications in city living than with us in the Midwest. We love him like we love our own lives, and can't imagine treating him any differently than any other members of our family.


Any additional comments?

I would suggest this book to others who want to learn to love.

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- Heidi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-12-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios