The Cove by Ron Rash
Laurel Shelton is ostracized by the residents of the small North Carolina town nearest the farm she owns with her brother. The farm is located in a dark cove and the local residents steer clear of the area. The superstitions that surround the area have been attached to Laurel as well. Because of her birthmark and her home she is rumored to be a witch. Her brother came back from WWI injured and he is now an accepted part of the community, but his sister is still set apart.
One day, while walking the woods around the cove Laurel hears some beautiful music. She spies a man playing the flute. He is a mute by the name of William. The cove brings these two together, but will it also force them apart?
The author has a wonderful way with words. I often had to remind myself that William didn’t speak because he communicated so well with the other characters through his actions and movements. The major characters and their motivations are well described and the book moves quickly and carries you along through the revelation of one secret after another.