Ashley Audrain / Book Review / Reviews with Spoilers

Ashley Audrain | The Whispers

The Book: 

The Whispers by Ashley Audrain
Published June 6, 2023 by Pamela Dorman Books
Date read: June 15, 2023

The Characters: 

Aiden and Blair
Whitney and Jacob
Rebecca and Ben
Mara and Albert

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

The Loverlys sit by the hospital bed of their young son who is in a coma after falling from his bedroom window in the middle of the night; his mother, Whitney, will not speak to anyone. Back home, their friends and neighbors are left in shock, each confronting their own role in the events that led up to what happened that terrible night: the warm, altruistic Parks who are the Loverlys’ best friends; the young, ambitious Goldsmiths who are struggling to start a family of their own; and the quiet, elderly Portuguese couple who care for their adult son with a developmental disability, and who pass the long days on the front porch, watching their neighbors go about their busy lives.

The story spins out over the course of one week, in the alternating voices of the women in each family as they are forced to face the secrets within the walls of their own homes, and the uncomfortable truths that connect them all to one another. Set against the heartwrenching drama of what will happen to Xavier, who hangs between death and life, or a life changed forever, THE WHISPERS is a novel about what happens when we put our needs ahead of our children’s. Exploring the quiet sacrifices of motherhood, the intuitions that we silence, the complexities of our closest friendships, and the danger of envy, this is a novel about the reverberations of life’s most difficult decisions.

How did The Whispers end?

Click here for book spoilers for The Whispers
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Whispers, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Aiden was cheating, but not with Whitney–with the girlfriend from the barbecue. Whitney was cheating with Ben. Xavier fell out of the window because he had seen Ben and Whitney hooking up in the backyard.

Mara had let her husband die, because he had abused their autistic kid when he was young.

The Ending:

Rebecca breaks up with Ben, Blair decides to forgive Aiden, and Jacob doesn’t find out about Whitney. But the book ends with Xavier waking up and saying to Whitney, “What will happen to you when I tell them everything?”

The Review: 

Another hit from Ashley Audrain! I never posted a review for The Push, but I loved it. The Whispers was nearly as good. Audrain takes such an interesting approach at discussing motherhood and marriage. While none of these characters are particularly likeable, it’s a fun ride to untangle their secrets and figure out what’s really going on in this neighborhood. The Whispers was much more enjoyable than many neighborhood thrillers I’ve read lately, and I definitely recommend it. And just look at this gorgeous cover! The spine looks incredible on my shelf.

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