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Fiction Psychological

The Whispers

A Novel

by (author) Ashley Audrain

Penguin Group Canada
Initial publish date
Jun 2023
Psychological, Contemporary Women, Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2023
    List Price

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From the #1 bestselling author of The Push, 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 neighbourhood 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 fiction talent.

About the author

Contributor Notes

ASHLEY AUDRAIN’s debut novel, The Push, was a New York Times, Sunday Times (London), and number-one international bestseller, and a Good Morning America Book Club pick. It has sold in more than forty territories, and a limited television series is currently in development. Audrain previously worked as the publicity director of Penguin Books Canada, and prior to that she worked in public relations. She lives in Toronto, where she and her partner are raising their two young children. The Whispers is her second novel.

Editorial Reviews

“Enticing, nuanced, and unflinching, The Whispers opens a secret portal into the private lives of women in suburbia. A narrative portrait of motherhood and marriage, of loneliness and longing, of loss and desire, this is a novel where the characters are so recognizable, it's nearly impossible to feel they are strangers. Rather, through the course of the deeply thrilling and provocative pages, one comes to feel they’re as real as neighbours, colleagues, and friends. A truly masterful novel.”
—Nita Prose, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Maid

“No one understands the secret lives of women like Ashley Audrain. In her electrifying new novel, The Whispers, the unspoken fears, desires, and shame of four neighbours threaten the lives they've so carefully constructed. It's a razor-sharp page-turner. Masterful!”
Carley Fortune, New York Times bestselling author of Every Summer After
The Whispers is a masterwork: a page-turner, a searing emotional rollercoaster and a beautifully-written hymn to the pain, the love, the fury of motherhood. I could think about nothing but Ashley Audrain’s perfectly-drawn characters in the three days it took me to tear through this novel, and I suspect they will live on in my mind for a long time to come. Sensational.”
—Rosie Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of Ghosted
“Driven by desire, jealousy, and revenge, everyone is under suspicion and guilty of something in this powerful, edgy, and addictive novel by the queen of psychological drama, Ashley Audrain. An honest, uncensored look at women and motherhood in the wake of a mysterious tragedy, The Whispers is a must-read.”
—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Just the Nicest Couple

Other titles by Ashley Audrain