Rating: 4 / 5
Chandler Baker’s Whisper Network is a riveting, sharply relevant, and ultimately suspenseful story of successful women and the even more successful men who keep them quiet.
Many thanks to Flatiron Books for sending an advanced copy!
Sloane, Ardi, and Grace are in-house lawyers at a high-profile sports marketing firm in Dallas. Law and sports are both very male-dominated fields, and they can feel this in everything they do – from the bodies they must maintain to the emotions they must keep in check.
When the company’s CEO suddenly dies, the ladies’ boss, Ames, becomes a front-runner to fill the position. This possibility, as well as an Excel spreadsheet travelling around Dallas detailing “bad men,” push the women to take action. Their complicated relationships with Ames have left them with one solid truth – he is not a good man.
Can the voices of these three women be enough to keep a bad man from obtaining even more power? Or will their bravery backfire – leaving them unemployed, untrustworthy, and maybe even criminal? Whisper Network is many things: an ode to women – the strong, the timid, the bold, and the quiet alike; a poignant discussion of sexual harassment and assault; and a scandalous mystery.
Please take caution while reading Whisper Network if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Sexual harassment / assault
- Self-harm and suicide
- Body hatred
- Pregnancy / childbirth
- Mental illness
- Sexism and misogyny
Whisper Network is astonishingly sharp and timely – so perfectly poignant during the #MeToo movement and discussions of female empowerment and equality in the workplace. The story is very intriguing from start to finish, interspersed with omniscient musings on feminism and women’s experiences in the workplace.
The story takes place mostly in the workplace, which is fast-paced and engrossing, but the ladies’ personal lives are just as compelling and important to the story. They’ve seen each other through affairs, divorce, new motherhood, and everything in between. Their sisterhood is strong – forged by proximity and necessity -, and yet there are things unsaid and unknown between them.
While the story is, at times, thrilling – mostly toward the end – I wouldn’t consider it a thriller. This doesn’t stop it from being thought-provoking and quite the page turner. There is a mystery, alluded to throughout the novel via court documents. The star of the show, however, is the feminist manifesto aspect of Whisper Network. Coming together to fight for equality, fairness, and other women is so empowering and wickedly interesting.
Whisper Network delves into the legitimacy of sexual assault claims: how they’re received by the public, the repercussions that women face in coming forward, and where the law resides on the issue. It is a timely and engrossing novel with lively characters and a provocative mystery. I very much enjoyed this book and highly recommend it!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Whisper Network. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!