A Sign of Her Own takes a piece of history and builds on it, ultimately giving it a fresh perspective.


The Description

Publication Date: February 6, 2024

A mesmerizing tale of historical fiction that follows a deaf former student of Alexander Graham Bell as she learns to reclaim her own authentic voice.

Ellen Lark is on the verge of marriage when she and her fiancé receive an unexpected visit from Alexander Graham Bell. Ellen is deaf and for a time she was Bell’s student learning visible speech. During their lessons, Bell also confided in her about his dream of producing a device that would transmit the human voice along a wire: the telephone.

Now, on the cusp of wealth and renown, Bell wants Ellen to speak up in support of his claim to the patent of the telephone, which is being challenged by rival inventors. But Ellen has a different story to tell: that of how Bell betrayed her and other deaf pupils in pursuit of his own ambition. Ellen knows that this is her one opportunity to tell the true story—her story—but to do so will risk her engagement, her future prospects and her mother’s last wish for her.

Inspired by Alexander Graham Bell’s real deaf students, this stunning historical debut casts new light on the inventor and the invention that would forever change how we communicate.

The Review

Growing up, Ellen Lark didn’t let the deafness caused by scarlet fever prevent her from a happy childhood. However, her family encouraged her to attend a special school.

Eventually, she encountered a man deemed successful in the field of deaf-mute education who introduced her to the concept of visual speech. The man? None other than Alexander Graham Bell.

A Sign of Her Own, inspired by historical events, illustrates the divide between the deaf and hearing communities. Author Sarah Marsh delves into speech reading and the invention of the telephone in the late 19th century.

While the concept of the story is unique, the shift in time makes the storyline a bit challenging. With that said the interactions between Ellen and Frank add an interesting dynamic as he teaches her about the silent press.

A Sign of Her Own takes a piece of history and builds on it, ultimately giving it a fresh perspective.Buy Links

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About The Author

Sarah Marsh
14 October 2023
Photographer: Rii Schroer

Sarah Marsh was short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish Prize in 2019 and selected for the London Library Emerging Writers Programme in 2020. A Sign of Her Own is her first novel, inspired by her experiences of growing up deaf and her family’s history of deafness. She lives in London.



Amy Wilson
Amy Wilson
My name is Amy W., and I am a book addict. I will never forget the day I came home from junior high school to find my mom waiting for me with one of the Harlequin novels from my stash. As she was gearing up for the "you shouldn't be reading this" lecture, I told her the characters get married in the end. I'm just glad she didn't find the Bertrice Small book hidden in my closet. I have diverse reading tastes, evident by the wide array of genres on my Kindle. As I made the transition to an e-reader, I found myself worrying that something could happen to it. As a result, I am now the proud owner of four Kindles -- all different kinds, but plenty of back-ups! "Fifty Shades of Grey" gets high marks on my favorites list -- not for character development or dialogue (definitely not!), but because it blazed new ground for those of us who believe provocative fiction is more than just an explicit cover. Sylvia Day, Lexie Blake, and Kristin Hannah are some of my favorite authors. Speaking of diverse tastes, I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Iris Johansen, and J.A. Konrath. I’m always ready to discover new-to-me authors, especially when I toss in a palate cleanser that is much different than what I would normally read. Give me something with a well-defined storyline, add some suspense (or spice), and I am a happy reader. Give me a happily ever after, and I am downright giddy.


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A Sign of Her Own takes a piece of history and builds on it, ultimately giving it a fresh perspective.4-STAR REVIEW: A SIGN OF HER OWN by Sarah Marsh