By: Ashley Audrain
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Publication Date: 06/23/2023
My Rating: TBR (ARC)
A propulsive page-turner about four suburban families whose lives are changed when the unthinkable happens—and what is lost when good people make unconscionable choices
With The Push, Ashley Audrain gave us a transgressive, bestselling novel about motherhood. Now she delves into the secretive world of suburban women who hide dark truths, and the devastating incident that ties them together.
On Harlow Lane, several well-to-do neighborhood couples and their children gather for a catered barbecue as the summer winds down; drinks continue late into the night. Everything is fabulous until the picture-perfect hostess catches her son disobeying her, and soon everyone at the party hears her exquisite veneer crack—loud and clear. Before long, that same child falls from his bedside window and is rushed to the hospital in a coma. The story spins out over the course of one week, in the alternating voices of three women as they face what led to what happened one terrible night.
Exploring the intuitions that we silence, the complexities of our closest friendships, the danger of envy, and what happens when we put our needs ahead of our children’s, The Whispers is another stunning novel that marks Audrain as a major women's fiction talent.
From the Author
I’m so excited to share this beautiful North American cover, and a bit more about the book…
It opens at an end-of-summer backyard party on Harlow Street, where the well-to-do families in the neighbourhood are mingling over drinks. Everything is going perfectly, just as the hostess planned, until she explodes in a fury of rage when her son disobeys her—and everyone hears her exquisite veneer crack. Soon after, that same young boy falls from his bedroom window in the middle of the night. His mother can only sit by her son’s hospital bed, where she refuses to speak to anyone, including her best friend who lives across the street.
The novel then follows the unravelling of the four families on this street, as they try to understand what happened that night, and what secrets are being kept between these friends and neighbours, ones that connect them all in ways they don’t know.
In The Push, I wrote about the darker side of motherhood, and in The Whispers, I wanted to explore that same kind of darkness, but in the lives of women who are questioning the choices they’ve made, and facing feelings of envy in friendships because of that. I’m interested in women’s intuition about themselves and their lives, the voices that we may choose to ignore because the truth feels dangerous to hear. I also wanted to write about female anger and desire, and why both of these emotions feel so shameful, especially for mothers.
I hope you’ll enjoy reading The Whispers as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. You can pre-order now at your favourite bookseller!
Praise for The Push:
“Hooks you from the very first page and will have you racing to get to the end.”
—Good Morning America
“Starkly original and compulsively readable.”
—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Photo by Barbara Stoneham
ASHLEY AUDRAIN previously worked as the publicity director of Penguin Books Canada. Prior to Penguin, she worked in public relations. She is a graduate of the Media, Information & Technoculture program at Western University. She lives in Toronto, where she and her partner are raising their two young children. The Push is her first novel. WEBSITE