A Sign of Her Own

A Novel

by Sarah Marsh

On Sale: 02/06/2024

A Sign of Her Own

A Novel

by Sarah Marsh

On Sale: 02/06/2024


About the Book

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. 

Critical Praise

“Marsh’s debut is an astonishing achievement, delving readers into the mind of a woman who lives in silence but whose mind bursts with a fierce intelligence and wit. A sobering look at the way people with disabilities were treated in the past, as well as an inside view of one of the greatest scientific achievements of our time. Remarkable.” —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Spectacular

“Beautifully written and illuminating... Excellently conveys the experience of being deaf in a hearing world.” —Priscilla Morris, Women's Prize Shortlisted author of Black Butterflies

“A fantastic novel. Shines a light into a hidden corner of history.” —Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City and Miss Aldridge Regrets

"In this ambitious debut, Marsh paints a landscape of history that is unforgettable. Through the eyes of a deaf woman, we experience the isolation, confusion, and victories of living in a world of silence, while being given a story of one of the greatest scientists of our time. A triumph!" —Serena Burdick, bestselling author of The Stolen Book of Evelyn Aubrey

[A] beautifully written debut… Inspired by real accounts of Alexander Graham Bell’s Deaf students, Marsh’s story shows a lesser-known side to the famous inventor while also encouraging readers to contemplate the concept of finding one’s true voice.” Library Journal -

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780778310785
  • ISBN 10: 0778310787
  • Imprint: Park Row
  • On Sale: 02/06/2024
  • Pages: 384
  • List Price:37.00 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Contemporary Women
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Alternative History
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Disabilities & Special Needs

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