I’m having such a crisis trying to figure out where to begin with Whispers in the Alders.
It went from 0 to 60 in no time flat.
Aubrey Worthington, daughter of a company bigwig, spends life moving from place to place. Until Alder Ferry. There she meets a young boy named Tommy, and initiates an unlikely friendship. Not an easy one, either. And I will tell you right now that it does not go where you think it goes.
Okay, tone. Let me start with the narrator’s (Aubrey) voice. In the beginning, it’s full of whimsy. And longing. It’s full of imagery and the like. Because of this, it opens rather slow. That’s okay, though, because once it gets going, it doesn’t stop. The deeper into it you get, the less whimsical it feels. Right along with Aubrey’s character development from teen to adult. Watching her shed the naivety of adulthood is such an emotional process. Even the minor characters took on their own, unique journeys. Through Aubrey’s telling, they come alive. Characterization was different for everyone. They were easy to tell apart, with their own voice.
The pacing of the story was great. Not too long or short, but plenty of time to get to know the characters. Enough time to develop an emotional tie with them. Backgrounds and character traits aren’t given immediately upon introduction. We get to know the character in pieces so they’re easier to identify with. We follow along on their journey of self-discovery and identity. The writing style fits well into how the narrative progresses. The author makes excellent use of tension and suspense. Coupled with plenty of twists, this novel has more drama than an episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
I finished with only one or two questions. Everything else ties up with a nice little bow. With the opportunity for many stereotypes, this novel tends to bypass most. It makes use of the “broken family” trope, but in a way that’s necessary. Even still, it doesn’t feel like the same old story. It ditches the gritty atmosphere for a warmhearted one, despite the events that occur.
Whisper in the Alders was nowhere near what I expected. It was so much better. It was worth the emotional distress I went through while reading at work. The farther into I got, the harder it was to put down. A literary representation of #relationshipgoals to the letter.