top of page
Published February 1, 2024
Now on sale. 
"Locked in Silence is a powerful portrait of resilence and love. Natalie Zellat Dyen has a unique and beautiful insight on the human spirit, and brings it to life within the vibrant chaos of pre-Civil War Philadelphia. A joy for any historical fiction reader."

— LCW Allingham, Executive Editor, Speculative Publications
Black Rose Writing Logo (Light) small.png
Locked in Silence front cover.jpg

Great premise, a gripping powerful mystery, and powerful prose.

Chris Bauer, author of COBALT and the Blessid Trauma Crime Scene Cleaners trilogy.

A young woman spends four years in solitary confinement for murdering her baby. But did she commit the crime?

Growing up in pre-Civil War Philadelphia, a city torn by racial violence, Lizzy O’Meara could have obeyed her mother’s orders to stick to her own kind. Instead, she secretly joins the fight against slavery with her Black friend. When she meets Thomas Britton, a handsome Quaker, she knows she has found the love of her life.

But nine months later, everything falls apart when Lizzy gives birth and is accused of murdering her newborn baby. The only thing she remembers about the night of the birth is a midwife holding the child’s lifeless body and screaming that Lizzy murdered her baby. Sentenced to four years in Eastern State Penitentiary, Lizzy is told to spend her days reflecting on her crime and finding God. But the months of silence, isolation, and systemic abuse loosen her hold on sanity and drive her to the brink of suicide.

Once she regains her freedom, Lizzy learns the shocking truth about what happened the night she gave birth. She vows to move heaven and earth to reassemble the fragments of her broken life. But will she fall victim to an enemy from her past who is eager to exact his revenge? Will she reunite with Thomas? And will she ever come to know the unbreakable bond between a mother and her child?

Locked In Silence tells an emotional tale of suffering, survival, and the healing power of love.

Home Page - Order Links

Praise & Reviews

“Not even Charles Dickens can save her. A poignant nineteenth-century historical drama of a young woman locked away in total silence in Philadelphia's notorious Eastern State Penitentiary. Natalie Dyen writes of an injustice that will keep the reader turning each page.”


– Don Swaim, author of The Assassination of Ambrose Bierce: A Love Story.

“1848. Secrets, lies, solitary confinement, Quakers, The Underground Railroad, and a young woman named Lizzy O’Meara who shows courage in the face of betrayal, strength when it seems all is lost, and shining hope in the darkness. This poignant novel will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page.”


– Dawn Beecroft Teetzel, author of My Mary

“A haunting and gripping tale of a woman’s unrelenting search to shatter the silence imposed upon her while locked within the cells of society’s injustices.”


– Janis Robinson Daly, author of The Unlocked Path, a #1 New Release for U.S. Historical Fiction

Dyen hits a raw nerve here: a 19th century woman is incarcerated for an unspeakable crime that she’s confessed to committing but has no recollection of it having ever happened. She has little will to live, and with the loss of her only child, an infant victim, there’s little for her to live for. The truth will set you free, if only she can get to it.


– Chris Bauer, author of COBALT and the Blessid Trauma Crime Scene Cleaners trilogy

bottom of page