#Review: Whisper – Heather Hildenbrand
Ever since the night of her parents accident, Whisper’s life has never been the same. She’s immersed herself in a dark cloud of grieving, intent on forgetting the world around her. All of her plans went out the window the night she lost them. She now knows things will never be what she wants them to do. Sure, there are those who are trying their damnedest to make her take a look at the world around her once more. But how can she? She has nothing worth living for anymore.
A chance encounter with her best friend one day soon draws her out of her self-imposed exile. Determined to at least try to make her world a better place, she agrees to go with Erin to a bonfire. Who knows? Maybe it’ll make her feel better about everything. Though things didn’t turn out the way she thought they would, she now knows that there are larger things in life out there. All she has to do is embrace it.
Her life takes a different turn when she discovers a boy prone and bleeding in the woods. There’s something about him that piques her interest, though she’s not exactly sure as to the reason why. Whisper knows she can’t leave him there to die, so she does the only thing she knows how to do. She finds him help in the hopes that he’ll survive whatever has happened to him.
As the two form a bond between them, Whisper soon realizes that there’s more to the boy than she could have ever imagined. His visions speak of things that haven’t happened yet. Things she’s sure might come to pass. If they’re to succeed in piecing together the events that led him to where he is now, they’ll need to trust in each other as they uncover secrets no one wanted them to know in the first place.
From the moment I began reading Whisper I knew it would take me places. I love Native American history, and this book is chock full of it. So much so, that it pulls you in from the very beginning.
I like the way Heather has made Whisper headstrong in the face of so much adversity. She’s gone through so much, but she’s determined in trying to face her past and her actions. Sure, it’s hard to do, but she now has something worth living for. She’s determined in seeing things through no matter what comes her way.
This is a book you’re going to enjoy reading. Trust me on that. Heather utilizes Native American lore in such a way that it makes you want to learn more about it. I found myself researching along the way, let me tell you. It’s great when a book does that. It really is. Can’t wait to see what else Heather has in store for her readers. Thanks for a wonderful read.
I still couldn’t believe Dad’s good news. Months and months of research. Unceasing energy and determination. I hadn’t allowed myself the belief that it wouldn’t work. There was too much at stake for the animals. Especially Dolly. And now she was coming home to live with me instead of that nasty excuse for a trainer. I’d won!
I ate standing up. The microwave never cooked evenly so the outside edges were hotter than the middle. I didn’t care. I was starved. I didn’t even bother to chew until the fifth bite.
Footsteps in the hall behind me signaled Tinker must be off the phone. I waited for him to pick up our previous conversation, or tell me about some part of his day that I’d missed while stuck inside the walls of learning. But there was only silence. I turned and found him standing in the kitchen doorway, his hands limp at his sides and the most confused expression I’d ever seen on his face.
He stared at a spot on the wood-planked wall that bordered the breakfast nook. My eyes followed his and I found a tiny cross-stitched plaque that read “Home Is Where the Heart Is” in blue thread. Grandma had sewn it years before I’d been born.
“Tinker?” I repeated. “Who was on the phone?”
“A friend of mine, lives down by Port Creek.” His voice was distant, hollow.
I hadn’t been worried until the moment our eyes locked. When they did, it felt like a tidal wave rushing up to meet me. Suddenly, I knew that whatever he was about to say would be very, very bad.
The doorbell rang, its chime echoing through the otherwise still house. I stared back at Tinker. Something final rested in his eyes. The only time I’d ever seen him look like that …
“I’ll get it,” I said around the lump in my throat.
I tossed the spaghetti aside and went to the door, sliding carefully by Tinker on my way. I didn’t want to touch him. It was something about the energy he gave off, and I knew if I touched him it would infect me. He didn’t move to follow.
I pulled open the door and found a man in a dark uniform staring back at me. The shiny silver buttons on his shirt matched a gleaming badge on his belt loop. His hat was big enough that, had it been yellow, this could’ve been a scene from Curious George Goes to Colorado.
“Ms. Whisper Grant?” he asked. His thin lips arched into a frown when he spoke.
“Yes?” I said. Tinker came up behind me. I felt his hand come down heavily onto my shoulder.
“I’m State Trooper Nelson. This is Hefley.” He gestured to another man off to the side, who I hadn’t even noticed, on the porch but away from the light of the door. His expression matched the first man’s. If they were going for gentle or caring, the twist in their lip ruined it.
Nelson consulted a single sheet of paper attached to the clipboard he held. “Says here your birthday was three weeks ago. You’re eighteen now. Is that correct?” he asked without looking up.
“Correct,” I confirmed. “Can I help you?” I asked. I felt the spray of another approaching wave and braced myself.
“Guess that makes you the official emergency contact.” He sighed like he’d hoped for a different answer. “I’m afraid I have some bad news. There was an accident. On the bridge near Port Creek. A pickup truck went over the embankment. The vehicle was registered to a Shawn and Anna Grant. They are your parents, I believe? A man at the scene said he knew you, gave us your address.”
Tinker’s hand squeezed into my shoulder.
That’s the last thing I remember of that night.
In fact, much of the next few weeks and months that followed is still a blur. Including the night I downed a pill bottle full of Xanax and went to sleep. Even after five months at Skye View, I still can’t remember it all. Over time, it’s become easier to cope with the missing pockets of time. To cope with the numbing sadness, the raging anger, the quiet desperation that came out of that moment of loss. But I’m still not me.
Tinker said I lost myself. He said it’s what animals do when the pain of loss is too much to bear. He said one day, I’ll find myself again. A new me, a version who is able to live despite the loss I’ve suffered. I told him that sounds like something Grandma would say. He said he learned it from her, and he’s learning to find himself again, too.
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The Cherokee believe when a person dies, their soul is reborn. Life is repeated. An endless cycle of lessons to be learned, love to be found, destiny to be fulfilled. For the past six months, in every flower, every bird, I’ve imagined my parents, relieved of their human forms.
Now, after five months at the Skye View Wellness Center, it was summer. A time for parties and friends, but that’s the last thing I want to do. So when my best friend Erin convinces me to attend a bonfire at Eagle Point, I can’t handle the crowd full of sympathetic stares or drunken class clowns who would use my tragedy as a way into my heart – or my pants. The solitude of the woods offers an escape, until I stumble upon a boy, unconscious and bleeding, his pockets stuffed not with identification but with poetry illustrating the beauty of dying. I’ve seen enough death. I will not leave this boy’s side.
Even after he wakes, when the only thing he can remember are visions of events that haven’t happened yet…
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About The Author:
Author of Across the Galaxy, Whisper, and the Dirty Blood series. I write, read, and fuss at my kids. Oh, and I do laundry, lots of laundry. I’m pretty good at it, too. Sometimes I even read WHILE doing laundry – and fussing at my kids. I’m a multi-tasker.
For more information on my books, release dates, or just general stalker material, um, I mean FAN material, visit my website. www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com. I love hearing from readers!
Likes and dislikes? I love vintage tees, hate socks with sandals, and if my house was on fire the one thing I’d grab is my Amazon Fire TV! (oh yeah, I’m a fan of puns.)
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