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The Whispers Bets On...

The Whispers

September 2023

A couple of years ago, I read Ashley Audrain’s debut novel, THE PUSH, and joked that I never will look at little pink mittens the same way again. I read THE WHISPERS over our summer holiday break, and once again she has nailed the young mother domestic thriller. It’s set in an upscale neighborhood where there are oversized new houses that were teardowns, as well as original homes that are smaller-sized, all on the same block. Harlow Street is the kind of place where you know your neighbors and socialize with them, then talk about them.

The book opens at an end-of-summer party where a barbecue is in full swing. It’s one of those flawless parties where the hostess has thought of every detail, and the partying swings on well into the night. The hostess excuses herself from the party at one point and heads up to see what her older son is doing since he is not outside with the others. She finds him sitting next to the cookies that were made with each child’s name on them --- and many of them are eaten. She lets loose with a profanity-laced string of words to him before she realizes that the window in his room is wide open. And yes, everyone hears her. Mortified, she makes her way back to the party acting like nothing happened.

Fast forward a few months, and this same boy is lying in a hospital bed. He’s fallen out of that same window --- the window without a screen on it. He’s in a coma, and they’re not sure if he ever will be the same. His mom sits beside him; she’s silent and vigilant.

Over the course of three days, we will get to know the women in this neighborhood, as well as their husbands. As you try to guess what happened, you will be tossed in many different directions. It’s really well done. I am a huge Ashley Audrain fan!

The Whispers
by Ashley Audrain