Out of the Silence : Out of the Silence is a stunning debut novel about three Australian women from very different worlds: Maggie Heffernan, a spirited working-class country girl; Elizabeth Hamilton, whose disappointment in love has served only to strengthen her humanity; and Vida Goldstein, a charismatic suffragist from Melbourne and the first woman to stand for Parliament in Australia. When Maggie's life descends into darkness after a terrible betrayal, the three women's lives collide. Around this tragedy Wendy James has constructed a masterfully drawn and gripping fiction. Based on a true story, it unfolds at the dawn of the twentieth century against the compelling backdrop of the women's suffrage movement and a world on the brink of enormous change. The novel powerfully evokes the plight of women in the early 1900s - not least their limited options, whatever their class and education. However, at its heart this is a story of love - of love gone wrong: of its compromises and disappointments; but ultimately of its extraordinary transformative power.