Whisper Hollow

Whisper Hollow

by Chris Cander


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590517116
Publisher: Other Press, LLC
Publication date: 03/17/2015
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 887,234
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Chris Cander is a novelist, children’s book author, freelance writer, and teacher for Houston-based Writers in the Schools. Her novel 11 Stories, published by a small press in Houston, was included in Kirkus’s Best Indie General Fiction of 2013. Find more of her work at www.chriscander.com

Read an Excerpt

Myrthen looked down, seeing only what the lightning allowed—her mother, rocking her limp twin. She looked like she did when Ruth couldn’t fall easily asleep. Outside, the thunder gnashed and roared. Ruth was scared of thunder. Yes, she didn’t like the thunder or the rain or the dark. Mama was comforting her because she was scared, and she should go down and get her doll and give it to Ruth because it would make her feel better, wouldn’t it Ruth? It was so dark outside, shepherds take warning, it was probably almost bedtime and she wasn’t hungry so she must have eaten and it was probably time to go to sleep.

Excerpted from "Whisper Hollow"
by .
Copyright © 2015 Chris Cander.
Excerpted by permission of Other Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

1. Describe Alta’s relationships with the various men in her life. How are these relationships similar? How are they different? How do they help shape Alta’s life?

2. How is family depicted in the novel? Is a traditional family something to aspire to, or something to be avoided? Compare what role family serves in the miners’ lives (see page 54) to what John Esposito experiences in his marriage to Myrthen Bergmann. Does Alta find happiness within her family or outside of it?

3. What is the significance of Whisper Hollow for Myrthen? For John and Alta? For Lidia? Why do you think the novel is named after Whisper Hollow, and not the town in which the characters live, Verra?

4. On page 307 Alta says, “Whatever truth it is you’re talking about, what good would it do anyone to know it? . . . People learn to live with their own versions of the truth.” Lidia wonders if we shouldn’t “always be honest.” Who do you think is right? At the end of the novel is it truth or “[people’s] own versions of the truth” that triumphs?

5. How does Myrthen shape the lives of the people in Verra? Do you think she’s the antagonist of the novel? Do you ever feel pity for her?

6. What role does religion play in Myrthen’s life? On page 205 the narrator tells us, “She had prayed very hard, bruised her knees and squeezed her eyes so intently until she no longer saw or even thought of the periphery of her actions.” How does she use religion to deal with guilt?

7. Describe the difference between the guilt that Alta, Myrthen, Lidia, and Stanley feel. What role does confession play in alleviating their guilt? In the novel, is it secular confession or religious confession that offers the most redemption?

8. Myrthen, John, Alta, and Lidia all sometimes feel isolated in Verra. In the novel, what works against isolation?

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Whisper Hollow 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Reminds me a bit of a book by Barbara Kingsolver!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put it down. The characters became real Sometimes my heart beat faster worrying about them
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!!!
Queenbethanny More than 1 year ago
A look into early 20th century little America and the coal mining industry. Life was simple and sometimes satisfying. Myrthen never recovered from the death of her twin sister and was so haunted by her role in her demise, she always sought the Lord and the comfort of a nunnery, which was sadly denied her. Alta, young and full of adventurous longing, finds the young man she loves suddenly married to Myrthen. She settles down with another building a good life. Years later, Alta finds herself wanting more and begins a years-long affair with Myrthen's estranged husband. Tragedy then strikes the town in the form of a mine accident/sabotage. Many years later, young Lidia gives birth to "God's Child", Gabriel, who is strangely very knowledgeable of the town's inhabitants and secrets. Lidia must struggle to keep him safe.
Holly More than 1 year ago
Whisper Hollow is one of those stories that will keep you thinking about it long after you finish reading it. This book has two intertwining stories that are spaced 14 years apart but you won't think that due to how well written this story is. We start with Myrthen's story on how she coped with losing her twin sister at a young age and what it made her become by the end of the book without giving too much away about what that is. The dividing point of the book was this horrible mine explosion that set it up for what is to come. With 14 years after the explosion, a boy was born who had this gift of seeing things that happened in the past. With everyone's story coming together by the end of the book in yet another accident that will make you look at everyone in a whole new light. I'm torn about this book for totally loving it and just liking it. It was like there was to many things going on within the story to fully enjoy it but it also made me continue reading it just to see what will happen next for everyone. I think i would enjoy this book being made into a tv movie just to see everything play out on the screen and in a new light, Thank You to Chris Cander for writing a story that I'm still thinking about a week after finishing it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sleppy hallow