The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan. ***
Young adult romance. The setting is imaginary, but bears a strong resemblance to medieval Ireland/England. Teenage Marnie travels to a new village with her new husband, whom she thought she loved, but who is clearly a brute. On their arrival, she sees the villagers beating a boy whom everyone thinks is mad. Marnie soon discovers that he is not mad; he's deaf, and can't speak. The brutish husband is quickly and conveniently dispatched, and the novel revolves around Marnie's attempts to communicate with the boy, whom she names Raven. They make up a sign language together, but the villagers think she's a witch. Even though the writing is a little thin in places and the setting seems more like a Renaissance Faire than a real place, there are some accurate touches, like the descriptions of village festivals. And in spite of its flaws, Devo Girl enjoyed this book a lot. The author says at the end that she was inspired to write this by her experience working in a deaf school, and the author’s experiences come through: the depiction of deafness provides a sense of authenticity that the setting lacks. The difficulty Marnie has in communicating with Raven, and his fearsome anger at not being understood feel very true-to-life.
Devo Girl liked this book so much she wrote a sequel herself, which you can read here: