I’m delighted to be taking part in the weekend blitz for Kate Rigby’s book, Did You Whisper Back?. You can read my review below.
And there’s a giveaway (UK only) with a chance to win paperback copies of two of Kate’s previous books, Savage to Savvy and Far Cry from the Turquoise Room.
Click on this link to enter.
About the Book
Set in the 1970s, Did You Whisper Back? begins with Amanda Court’s longing to be reunited with her estranged twin sister, Jo. Following a false lead, Amanda leaves her Merseyside home and family and goes to Devon to work as a chambermaid where she believes Jo now lives. Amanda’s new life begins to encroach on her personal space and time, and her search for Jo is put on hold until Amanda feels Jo calling her back to Liverpool. Gradually it emerges that Jo is, seemingly, just a figment of Amanda’s imagination arising from distorted childhood memories. She experiences a series of strange and sometimes frightening experiences, including lamps talking and the endless ringing of telephones, until the desperation of her family reaches breaking point. Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind. This book was awarded a Southern Arts Bursary.
|Publication:||14th June 2012||Genre:||Thriller|
Find Did You Whisper Back? on Goodreads
In Amanda, the author creates a convincing picture of a troubled young woman, withdrawn and socially awkward yet intelligent and creative. Initially, Amanda’s notion that she has a twin, Jo, still living, from whom she was separated at birth appears credible. However, over time the reader’s suspicion grows that this may be the product of a psychological disorder with Jo’s existence being nothing more than delusion.
Amanda’s fragile mental state isn’t helped by her family situation. Rosalind, her biological mother, seems distant and unwilling to acknowledge Amanda’s condition is anything other than self-inflicted. Rosalind’s way of solving problems is to ignore them or seek answers in a bottle. Amanda’s stepsister, Angie, and her stepfather, Neville, have a close bond, leaving Amanda feeling left out and detached, especially as her mother appears closer to Angie than to her natural daughter. Only Billy, Angie’s boyfriend, seems to see Amanda in a different light, to detect that there is something intense beneath the seemingly placid exterior she presents to the world.
‘He now knows what makes her tick. It’s the bomb inside her. And one day it might explode.’
As Amanda’s mental condition deteriorates she imagines ‘punishing’ her mother, Rosalind, and her biological father, Rodney, for discarding Jo and separating the twins. Despite being told by her mother that Rodney died many years previously, Amanda is convinced he is alive and living under an assumed name. Amanda’s subsequent mental collapse is vividly depicted – the hallucinations, nightmares and periods of hazy nothingness.
Then, just when you think you know what’s going on, the story takes a different, shocking turn. Although the ending of the book is strangely opaque, the reader is left in no doubt about the emotional and psychological damage that can be inflicted by the actions of others.
Because of the subject matter and the dark places the story takes you, I can’t say I ‘enjoyed’ this book but I certainly admired it and there was some wonderful, descriptive writing, such as ‘The fresh salty air unwinds spools of hope, like invisible streamers behind her.’
I received a review copy courtesy of Neverland Book Tours and the author in return for an honest review.
In three words: Psychological, unsettling, dark
Try something similar…The Former Chief Executive by Kate Vane (click here to read my review)
About the Author
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way. She is a hybrid author, having been traditionally published, small press published and now indie published. She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated. However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall of the Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka! (2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones. Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007). She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011). She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
Kate has re-Kindled her backlist of previously published work as well as most of her unpublished work, including: Break Point (Awesome Indies Certified), Seaview Terrace, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room, Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!), Down The Tubes (Underground Book Reviews Certified), She Looks Pale, Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions and now available in paperback as She Looks Pale & Other Stories), Savage To Savvy (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012 and Awesome Indies Approved), Thalidomide Kid and The Dead Club.
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