Set in the nineteen-seventies, Did You Whisper Back? begins with Amanda Court’s longing to be reunited with her estranged twin sister Jo. Following a false lead, Amanda leaves her Merseyside home and family and goes to Devon to work as a chambermaid where she believes Jo now lives. Amanda’s new life begins to encroach on her personal space and time, and her search for Jo is put on hold until Amanda feels Jo calling her back to Liverpool.
Gradually it emerges that Jo is, seemingly, just a figment of Amanda’s imagination arising from distorted childhood memories. She experiences a series of strange and sometimes frightening experiences, including lamps talking and the endless ringing of telephones, until the desperation of her family reaches breaking point.
Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.
This book was awarded a Southern Arts Bursary.
Did you whisper back is written with so much insight about mental health and schizophrenia. It feels as if you are actually a fly on the wall as Amanda slowly deteriorates.
The story begins as Amanda is beginning on a never ending search for her twin sister Jo, who she believes was dumped in a rubbish bin as a baby. I at this point thought I had the story figured out, this would be a simple tale of Amanda’s journey. How wrong could I be!
It becomes very clear quite early on that Amanda’s family are very disjointed and have no understanding of Amanda and the person she is. In fact a huge part of Amanda’s problems are in fact her family. I wanted to shout at them, could they not see she needed help?!
The lies her Mother has told and the hidden secrets that surround Jo all contribute to Amanda’s chaotic world.
At times it does become an uncomfortable read, this is no criticism of the book, in fact it’s quite the opposite and shows just how well Kate has managed to capture the realism of schizophrenia.
There is a huge twist in this tale and the ending is definitely not predictable. I was hooked and longed for a happy ending for Amanda.
Would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a tale with a twist!
Thank you to Neverland blog tours and Kate Rigby for allowing me to review Did you whisper back?
About the author
Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England. She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way. She is a hybrid author, having been traditionally published, small press published and now indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.
However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
She has re-Kindled her backlist of previously published as well as most of her unpublished work including:
Break Point (Awesome Indies Certified)
Far Cry From The Turquoise Room
Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!)
Down The Tubes (Underground Book Reviews Certified)
She Looks Pale
Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions and now available in paperback as She Looks Pale & Other Stories)
Savage To Savvy (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012 and Awesome Indies Approved)
The Dead Club
Where to find Kate Rigby online
Did you whisper back book links
To win copies of Savage To Savvy and Far Cry From The Turquoise Room also by Kate Click here