The Quiet You Carry

Victoria Parker knew her dad’s behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won’t stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can’t stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won’t leave you alone?

Coming October 13, 2020

Quiet No More

After surviving sexual assault by her father and six months in foster care, college freshman Victoria Parker is trying to move on with her life. She’s focusing on the positives—attending college, living on her own, repairing old relationships and making new ones, and getting involved with an abuse survivors activist group on campus. But everything’s thrown into disarray when a strange woman shows up, claiming to be Victoria’s aunt and asking Victoria to lie about what happened to her.


With her father’s sentencing in a few months, Victoria’s nervous about having to share the truth of what happened with a judge. She’s not even sure if she has the strength to go through with it. But when her fellow club members begin pressuring her to speak out, Victoria has to decide how to share her story while remaining true to herself.

The Quiet You Carry

Victoria Parker knew her dad’s behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won’t stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can’t stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won’t leave you alone?

Coming October 13, 2020

Quiet No More

After surviving sexual assault by her father and six months in foster care, college freshman Victoria Parker is trying to move on with her life. She’s focusing on the positives—attending college, living on her own, repairing old relationships and making new ones, and getting involved with an abuse survivors activist group on campus. But everything’s thrown into disarray when a strange woman shows up, claiming to be Victoria’s aunt and asking Victoria to lie about what happened to her.


With her father’s sentencing in a few months, Victoria’s nervous about having to share the truth of what happened with a judge. She’s not even sure if she has the strength to go through with it. But when her fellow club members begin pressuring her to speak out, Victoria has to decide how to share her story while remaining true to herself.

The Quiet You Carry

Victoria Parker knew her dad’s behavior toward her was a little unusual, but she convinced herself everything was fine—until she found herself locked out of the house at 3:00 a.m., surrounded by flashing police lights.

Now, dumped into a crowded, chaotic foster home, Victoria has to tiptoe around her domineering foster mother, get through senior year at a new school, and somehow salvage her college dreams . . . all while keeping her past hidden.

But some secrets won’t stay buried—especially when unwanted memories make Victoria freeze up at random moments and nightmares disrupt her sleep. Even worse, she can’t stop worrying about her stepsister Sarah, left behind with her father. All she wants is to move forward, but how do you focus on the future when the past won’t leave you alone?

Looking for More?

Read an excerpt, check out reader reviews, lead a discussion group and more

Looking for More?

Read an excerpt from The Quiet You Carry, check out reader reviews and more.

Photo by Don Barthelmess

Hi, I’m Nikki Barthelmess.

Nikki Barthelmess is an author of young adult books, including THE QUIET YOU CARRY (out now!), QUIET NO MORE (Flux, fall 2020), and EVERYTHING WITHIN AND IN BETWEEN (HarperChildren’s, fall 2021). Nikki entered foster care in Nevada at twelve and spent the next six years living in six different towns. During this time, Nikki found solace in books, her journal, and the teachers who encouraged her as a writer. A graduate of the University of Nevada, Nikki lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, daughter, and pride-and-joy Corgi pup.

Nikki is represented by Elizabeth Harding and Sarah Gerton at Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Photos by Matt Wier

Hi, I’m Nikki Barthelmess.

Nikki Barthelmess is a journalist and author of young adult books. She entered foster care in Nevada at twelve, and spent the next six years living in six different towns. During this time, Nikki found solace in books, her journal, and teachers who encouraged her as a writer. She graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Nevada, Reno, and has worked as a maid, cashier, newspaper reporter, and event coordinator, among other odd jobs. Nikki lives in Los Angeles with her husband and her pride-and-joy Corgi pup.

The Quiet You Carry is her debut novel.

Are You a Writer?

Writing is my passion, and I love encouraging other writers to grow in their craft. Click here for some writer resources and answers to FAQs I receive about publishing!

Are You a Writer?

Writing is my passion, and I love encouraging other writers to grow in their craft. Click here for some writer resources and answers to FAQs I receive about publishing!

Recent News & Events

You can keep up with my readings, signings and more here on my website. Click below to stay up to date.

Recent News & Events

You can keep up with my readings, signings and more here on my website. Click below to stay up to date.

Get in Touch with Nikki

If you want to ask a question, invite me to an event, or have something else you want to talk about, just drop me a line.

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Art Attributions

"Galaxy" created by Rachel Byler

"Watercolor Clouds" by Freepik