Set in a small coal mining town, a debut novel full of secrets, love, betrayal, and suspicious accidents, where Catholicism casts a long shadow and two courageous women make choices that will challenge our own moral convictions One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug of war with her twin, when herSet in a small coal mining town, a debut novel full of secrets, love, betrayal, and suspicious accidents, where Catholicism casts a long shadow and two courageous women make choices that will challenge our own moral convictions One morning in Verra, a town nestled into the hillsides of West Virginia, the young Myrthen Bergmann is playing tug of war with her twin, when her sister is killed Unable to accept her own guilt, Myrthen excludes herself from all forms of friendship and affection and begins a twisted, haunted life dedicated to God Meanwhile, her neighbor Alta Krol longs to be an artist even as her days are taken up caring for her widowed father and siblings Everything changes when Myrthen marries the man Alta loves Fourteen years later, we meet Lidia, a teenage girl in the same town, and her precocious son, Gabriel When Gabriel starts telling eerily prescient stories that hint at Verra s long buried secrets, it s not long before the townspeople begin to suspect that the boy harbors evil spirits an irresistible state of affairs for Myrthen and her obsession with salvation.
Whisper Hollow Set in a small coal mining town a debut novel full of secrets love betrayal and suspicious accidents where Catholicism casts a long shadow and two courageous women make choices that will challeng
man, i loved this book i wasn t expecting much there wasn t any synopsis in my ARC, and the cover was giving off a total christian fiction vibe to me, but while religion definitely plays a role in the story, it is absolutely not a gentle, feel good read i love thomas hardy he s probably my all time favorite author and this book is FULL of thomas hardy ish situations it s got true love thwarted by circumstances, loveless marriages, people forced into marriage because of societal pressure, rape an [...]
2nd reviewStill in the ICU.Early 1920 s, in a mining town in West Virginia Company owned houses, general store, a place where the miners work terrifically hard to support their families Getting ahead is really not an option, just surviving and able to put food on the table is considered lucky Myrthen, her twin sister and mother are supported by their miner father, a fairly content family until a terrible accident will change them beyond expectation Myrthen becomes an ardent Catholic, wanting to [...]
Masterful literary novel I d best describe as Flannery meets Sons and Lovers I was so moved by this novel which had me pondering How many moral quandaries can a medium sized novel raise I m surprised people haven t bought and read this I got it last March after it got a starred review from Kirkus.I d have to place Ms Cander alongside Flannery O Connor in her graceful virtuosity of fully capturing Evil lurking beneath the religious Zealot s cloak as she did in this tale The setting is Whisper Ho [...]
It is books like this that make me wish that I was good at writing reviews If you read this book, put on your seatbelt and be ready for a rollercoaster ride of emotions, surprises and a book you can t put down I did win this book on firstreads, but I think I would have bought it anyway.
WHISPER HOLLOW whispered nothing but sadness, loneliness, secrets, and isolation.Myrthen s isolation and sadness began after the death of her twin sister and then her marriage Alta s sadness began upon her marriage to the man she didn t love or have anything in common with.Both women have desires that break rules and traditions Myrthen and Alta are traditional on the outside, but on the inside are very strong women with very strong convictions Tragedy brings these two women farther apart instead [...]
4.5 5Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander is a beautifully executed, yet mournful and complex book based on the secrets buried deep in the small coal mining town of Verra, West Virginia Cander has woven together two separate stories spaced approximately fourteen years apart, which intertwine to create a stunning novel The story unfold with the death of Myrthen Bergmann s twin, unable to deal with the death of her twin sister, Myrthen spirals down a rabbit whole of twisted spiritual beliefs, excluding [...]
I picked up a copy of this book because it sounded exciting It started out fine but then I quickly realized that I had no interest what so ever about the characters in the book I put it down and was not planning on reading any of it but then I read some of the other readers thoughts who enjoyed the book and thought I would give it another try Nope, nothing changed for me in fact, I thought that the story read depressing Myrthen was frigid Alta was uninteresting In fact, I would not want to be fr [...]
For me, a novel s power and personal appeal is going to turn largely on the strength of the characters Are these people that I felt a depth of emotion for regardless of whether they are likeable or potential friends Do I care what happens to them Do I want to know what happens next for them In Chris Cander s latest novel, the answer is a resounding affirmative Myrthen was not remotely likeable But because of the way Cander staged the pivotal point of Myrthen s life, the tragic event that shaped [...]
The main thing about this was that there wasn t any emotional attachment to the characters If I m going to like a book, I have to care what happens to the people in it, and that just didn t happen People in a book need distinct traits recurring personality points, habits, a sense of humor or lack of one , a certain voice that makes them stand out, and the people in this had very little appeal to make me want to find out what happened to them It didn t help that there were probably too many of th [...]
3.5 star readWhisper Hollow is the story of three women Myrthen, Alta, and Lidia, set in the small town of Verra, West Virginia This mining town is filled with secrets and some people will go to great lengths to keep those secrets hidden.Myrthen Bergmann was a first generation American, born to German immigrants in 1910 She, along with her twin sister Ruth, and her parents lived in a small mining community in West Virginia Just days before Myrthen and Ruth s sixth birthday a tragic accident resu [...]
This is the first of Cander s novels that I have read The chapters are brief with beautifully descriptive writing that instantly brings this West Virginia town and its occupants to life over the course of just over sixty years 1906 1969 Each era feels authentic too as the story moves chronologically across the years The cast of characters each have their own stories and their own shares of dashed dreams and disappointments The book meanders a bit at times feeling like a collection of vignettes [...]
WHISPER HOLLOWBy Chris CanderWHISPER HOLLOW is a historical atmospheric debut novel that takes place in the 1920 s in a small mining town of Verra, West Virginia It basically follows three women with their secrets, their troubles and their sorrows.Myrthen is a religious fanatic who never acknowledges how her sister died, is forcibly married by her family while desperately trying to become a nun Alta is a lovely and gracious wife and mother, but torn and saddened by loving another.Fourteen years [...]
As a preface I grew up in southeastern Ohio, in the foothills of the Alleghenies, and right in the midst of coal country One of the schools we played in high school football was so tough that we could only play games there during the day That said, welcome to Whisper Hollow Coal mining is a way of life Going down under does not mean you are moving to Australia The opening scene with the two twins having their last altercation sets the tone for the entire story Myrthen is a truly despicable chara [...]
Whisper Hollow was chosen by my book discussion group for 2016 I am always looking for books about Appalachian life Taking place in a coal town in West Virginia, Cander s book certainly fits the bill The book follows the path of two young women and one man One woman is haunted by a tragedy she can t remember and wants to be married to God The other girl is thrust into adulthood when her mother dies and she is forced to care for her father and brothers The young man is handsome and has hopes of b [...]
I am familiar with West Virginia the surrounding area and coal miners My grandfather was a miner in Pa as a teenage boy His mom made him quit when an explosion killed several people in the mine my grandfather had worked In his brief career as a miner he had hundreds of fascinating tales About the people, the work conditions, etc I would say Whisper Hollow is a very accurate depiction of the people and times The writing is engaging and top notch You really feel like you are there during the vario [...]
I got my hands on an arc, as I am not officially reviewing it I won t go into depth but I will say I loved this book Everything that happens is the dark and shocking side human behavior and yet, natural I found that even with the characters the reader would normally despise, I felt a strange compassion for I will review this once it is out, but I ordered an earlier novel, 11 Stories by Chris Cander because I really enjoyed her writing.
I don t know exactly what I was expecting with this novel Maybe something lighter Definitely not a story this chilling Definitely not with characters so complex Spanning two generations of people living in the small coal mining town of Whisper Hollow, Cander weaves a tragedy covered in coal dust and secrets With equal parts viciousness and goodness, this tale will make even the most placid reader cry for justice.
Whisper Hollow is full of unhappy people who make bad life choices for apparently no good reason I couldn t empathize with any of the characters and I started reading ahead to see if there were any solver linings and all I kept finding was doom and gloom and unhappinessI have too many books waiting for me to keep slogging through this unhappy tale.
I actually gave up on this one.
I just quit this at the start of part 2 I don t care enough about the characters to invest in a whole second set of them.
Interesting story about 1st star crossed lovers that juust miss the opportunity for happily ever after, and have to make do with other, lesser options.2nd a woman who finds herself in a tough situation, and lies her way into a happy endingOverall a coal mining town in the 50s 70sI liked the book, and the characters, but I wasn t rushing to pick it up every day So much of it was just depressing At the end of part 1 I thought about quitting Such sad stories But I kept going and am ultimately happy [...]
This just didn t grab me It felt heavy handed to me everyone had last a parent By the second part I just stopped caring about whose life was interrupted because they had to take care of their family after some parent died The first part was so much longer than the second part that the second part felt tacked on Part one wasn t a build up for the second part, it was too complete Part two seemed like a weak follow up.
Review originally published in Necessary Fiction,Chris Cander begins her new novel Whisper Hollow with an excerpt from Luke 12 2 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known Such precise words for a book that so ties up the reader in its intermingled stories, reveling in its ability to engross without heaping on confusion The story of Whisper Hollow is elegant, long, and mysterious.The characters and stories of the book span than fifty years, beginning as tw [...]
One of the best books I ve read all year Chris has taken 3 women and entwined their lives together in a coal mining town It has secrets and secrets that explode at the end to think you have just read a true story Amazing Applause
DNF I read this book last month and thought it would be a great read However I was wrong I found this book very boring and dragged on The characters are not very likeable and are a bit over the top I would not recommend this book to anyone.
There are those novels that so entice you, draw you in with their premise of setting and idealization of problems to come, that your heart begins to happily thump in anticipation of reading it Happened to me with Whisper Hollow From the start, the beautiful green tinge of the cover with the antiqued button box got me, and got me hard Then came the characters Slowly introduced, in all their immigrant fierceness, the parents quickly lost the spotlight to their children, and daughters soon became y [...]
FictionChris CanderWhisper HollowNew York Other PressTrade paper, 978 1 59051 711 6 also available in e book and audio 400 pages, 17.95March 17, 2015Whisper Hollow is IPPY award winner Chris Cander s second novel, a multifaceted story of family, religion, superstition, redemption, and mostly good people pushed to desperate means who prove, again, that Faulkner was right The past is never dead It s not even past Divided into two parts, beginning in 1916 and 1964, respectively, this novel spans mo [...]