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Synopsis

A Conspiracy of Silence is the second novel of the trilogy and takes place initially in Germany as the family gets ready to leave for America. Emilie learns more about her husband's infidelities than she really wanted to know but felt there was nothing she could do about them. She believed them to be part of the past and her orientation was always to look towards the future. Upon arriving in the United States, Friederich buys two different businesses before deciding to buy a farm. He knew nothing about farming but thought he would have fewer encounters with other people on a farm. His handicap would not be such an overwhelming problem for him. His sisters and one brother-in-law go into farming with him from April to September only to find that the combined income from tourism, operating a gas station, dairying, and raising crops were insufficient to maintain three families. They leave him and his wife to return to the city. Friederich and Emilie have to do the work once carried on by four additional persons. Emilie doesn't see how they can do all of the farm work plus take care of the gas station and care for her family with a third newborn. But learning to milk, in addition to caring for their three children, cooking, planting crops and harvesting them, leaves her no choice but to work as she had never envisioned. In Germany she had been a Kindergarten and Elementary school teacher. Her husband tells her she has no alternative other than to continue to work the farm with him. The depression deprives them of any surplus savings and the devastating barn fires end their dairy operation. The work of last resort is to turn to the woods which Friederich does to cut firewood for income and logs with which to saw lumber and rebuild his barns. His proclivity for sex, however, continues to know no bounds.

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