When Maggie Beck finds an engagement ring belonging to Tante Clara, she becomes curious about her spinster aunt’s history. Seeking the truth about Clara Hoffman’s past in 1920s Cincinnati upends Maggie’s marriage in 1960s Denver. Inheritance of Silence weaves together the stories of both female protagonists, second- and third-generation German-Americans, who struggle within the confines of their societal roles, as a nurse and a working mother respectively. The novel’s setting explores the emerging medical field of obstetrics and the ongoing struggle for women’s rights in America.
Inheritance of Silence is similar in structure to Fiona Davis’s The Lions of Fifth Avenue with alternating chapters from two protagonists’ points of view. Diane Zinna, author of The All-Night Sun, compared it to Stephanie Vanderslice’s forthcoming novel The Lost Son in writing style and theme.