Book tour stop! Today I’m delighted to be the host for Whisper Cottage, a psychological thriller written by Anne Wyn Clark.
First thing first, let me thank Rachel and the publisher, Avon Books UK, for providing me with an e-copy of this book. Much obliged *hat tip*
MEET THE BOOK
How well do you know the woman next door? When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start. Their new home is run-down compared to their neighbour’s, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend.
Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.
Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her picture-perfect home?
Avon Books UK
Publication date: 02/09/21
Purchase link: Amazon.com
READ MY REVIEW
Cover: Ominous. It’s eye-catching and intriguing, making you focus first on the woman and the child (the main splash of color of the cover) and then on the house.
In Whisper Cottage we follow Stina and Jack, a married couple who decide to ditch their big city life and move to the countryside, hoping for a fresh, bucolic start. They’re expecting a kid; the small village of Avoncote is as charming as the cottage they bought, and the widow who lives next door looks so nice – right?
Right. ‘Nothing is as it seems’ might sound like a cliche, but in Whisper Cottage it happens to be true. Everybody has a dirty secret, past wrongdoings that unravel while the story progresses. Sometimes you have to wonder about the narrator’s reliability; sometimes the reliability is as plain as the day.
Full of twists and turns, and written in third limited—yay!—Whisper Cottage is a slow-paced novel, where flashbacks about Stina’s life are scattered across the main timeline.
Character-wise, I appreciated Mrs. Barley above everyone else. All her idiosyncrasies, her odd behavior – they paint a contradictory and complex character. Is she a witch or is she just eccentric? Is she a malevolent woman, or have people accused her under false pretenses? Stina and Jack, as well as the rest of the supportive cast, tend to be eclipsed by Mrs. Barley. She’s the genuine soul of the book.
Stina, I won’t deny I had troubles understanding her: her choices and emotions puzzled me more often than not, but I still couldn’t stop reading until the last page. As I said more than once, keeping a reader glued to a book regardless of their personal feelings about a character is the marker of a talented writer.
The only flaw that prevents me from giving Whisper Cottage a full five stars has to do with a couple of strings left untied. However, the plot itself is solid and the twists are satisfying – I didn’t see the last one coming, kudos for that!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Anne Wyn Clark lives in the UK, in the Midlands, with her husband, son and a feisty chinchilla. She has three (now grown-up) children and five grandchildren. She is particularly partial to Italian food, decent red wine (or any coloured wine come to that…) and cake – and has been known to over-indulge in each on occasions. She is passionate about animals and their welfare. Whilst she has enjoyed writing for many years, a love of all things gothic inspired her to try her hand at producing something dark and twisty, culminating in the haunting Whisper Cottage.
Social Media Links – Twitter: https://twitter.com/EAClarkAuthor