#BookReview: WHISPER NETWORK by Chandler Baker @cbakerbooks @BooksSphere

Whisper NetworkPublication: 2nd July 2019 – Sphere

‘Ms. Sandberg was right about something. We had to lean in. It was the only way to hear the whispers…’

Sloane, Ardie, Grace and Rosalita have worked in the same legal office for years. The sudden death of the firm’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, swept under the rug, hidden away by those in charge.

But the world has changed, and the women are watching this latest promotion for Ames differently.

This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.

Sloane and her colleagues’ decision to take a stand sets in motion something catastrophic and unstoppable: lies will be uncovered, secrets will be exposed and not everyone will survive. All their lives – as women, colleagues, mothers, adversaries – will be changed for ever.

**********

If Reese Whiterspoon calls it “honest, timely and completely thrilling” and chooses it as her July pick of her book club, then I must read it. I am talking about WHISPER NETWORK, the gripping debut novel by Chandler Baker, the story of four women trying to survive in the workplace.

We are in Dallas. Truviv is a corporate firm whose CEO just died. His successor is Ames Garrett. Many people find him charming and handsome, but there are four women who know the truth about him. Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita know Ames’s true character, but there is a difference between knowing and proving, and when Ames turns his attention to their new colleague Katherine, they need to find a way to stop him, setting in motion a series of events with catastrophic consequences.

WHISPER NETWORK has it all: it’s mystery and it’s social commentary. There is murder, secrets, lies, sexual harassment, marriages and jobs at stake. The protagonists are not always likable, but they are intriguing characters. Ardie, Grace, and Sloane are three women who read Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg from cover to cover, three women who worked hard to get where they are and who want the recognition they deserve. They are women in career, but they are also mothers. Sloane is worried about her daughter being bullied at school, Ardie is a single mother with a four-year-old son, and Grace is struggling with motherhood and work. Rosalita is invisible at Truviv, no one notices her, but she has her own role to play in the story and a young son to raise and she is the one I liked best.

I liked how the author structured the story. Depositions and police interviews alternate with the chapters (in true Big Little Lies style) and the author provides the reader with a commentary of what women endure on the workplace. The author captures how women struggle to balance work and motherhood, she describes in detail post-partum depression and adjusting to motherhood. WHISPER NETWORK is definitely a must-read: a timely, honest, relatable, and captivating story with a shocking ending that I didn’t see coming!

A huge thank you to Sphere and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the novel.

 

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