Cover Image: Whisper Cottage

Whisper Cottage

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Member Reviews

When newlyweds Stina and Jack escape the city and move to a cottage in the Warwickshire village of Avoncote, they think they've found their dream home. They're expecting their first child and are glad to live next door to an elderly woman, Mrs. Barley, who offers to help them around the house and to babysit. However, the people of Avoncote warn the couple to stay away from Mrs. Barley due to speculation about her past. Stina also hears unusual noises coming from her house at night and sees someone in her neighbours' garden although nobody else has. Stina wonders if there is a supernatural force at play in the house next door as unusual events occur and she becomes increasingly uneasy about her neighbour. Whisper Cottage is a commentary on the power of village gossip in a small community where rumours persist and have very real consequences for the people involved. 

Whisper Cottage is a creepy and claustrophobic psychological thriller with an incredibly dark ending that stays with you. It perfectly blends the thriller and horror genres, evoking imagery from 1960s and 1970s horror films including Rosemary's Baby and The Wicker Man. I look forward to Wyn Clark's next book.
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How well do you know the woman next door?

When Stina and Jack move to an old rural cottage, they’re hoping for a fresh start. Their new home is run down, but generous Mrs Barley quickly becomes a friend. 

Until Stina sees a mysterious figure in the widow’s garden, and her happy new life begins to unravel. And when she hears strange noises in the night, she is forced to question if Mrs Barley is what she seems.

Why do the other villagers whisper about her? Why is she so eager to help the couple? And what is she hiding in her perfect home? 

This debut novel is a very engaging and captivating read. The author really creates quite an atmospheric mystery throughout. I was intrigued to find out more about the mysterious character of Mrs Barley and it was a real page turner. I also feared for Stina, Jack and their unborn baby in parts.
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This one was a slog to get through quite honestly. I am not even sure why I kept pushing through. It was so slow and weighed down with unnecessary details. On top of that, Stina wasn't a very likable or engaging lead character. I don't have much else to say about it. I was promised "A haunting, twisty story" and this book delivered nothing near that. 🤷🏻‍♀️

**ARC Via NetGalley**
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Stina and Jack are a young couple that decide to move to an old rural cottage. They are so much in love and happy together until strange things start occurring. Stina see a mysterious figure outside her neighbour's house, even though her neighbor lives alone. The said neighbor - Mrs Barley is a strange and peculiar old woman. Everyone in the village has warned Stina to stay away from her. Stina becomes curious as to why. Soon she begins to hear noises coming from the shared attic with Mrs Barley. What is going on? Are Stina and Jack in danger?

If you haven't read this, then I suggest you do IMMEDIATELY! This was an epic read. Very well-thought-out plot and amazing setting. I love the characters, the love between Stina and Jack and the little secret Stina discovered towards the end spiced things up. The suspense was killing me and I honestly wanted to peek at the end to see why all the strange things were happening but of course, I didn't 😂 I was just tempted to.

Mrs Barley was really scary and I believed she had everything to do with Stina's friends' death, her mother in law's sickness, even little Alfie's sickness as well. Everything just pointed to her. In addition to her reclusión from the village and her wierd behavior, she looked guilty. When she decided to help out in revamping their attic, I was still not buying the whole good-neighbor act. It looked a hell lot suspicious to me. And then she became their friend, and a godmother to their little baby! At the end though, everything explained itself. It was right there but hidden from all. I loved the suspense ramping up to the shocking revelation at the end. It also discusses mental illness, and the struggle those living with it face daily.

Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the arc copy of this book.
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Well written creepy book!!! Definitely held my attention to the very end, No spoilers, you just need to read it for you self. Will definitely recommend. Thank you NetGalley for the ARC copy to read!!
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I was given a copy of The Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Stina and Jack buy a cottage, looking for a new start in a village. They make friends with the elderly lady next door. Stina begins to see things which can't be explained. Loved the creepy twists in this book. I good page Turner. Really enjoyed this one.
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When Stina and Jack move to a small village they befriend the old lady next door – Mrs Barley. But how well do you really know your neighbours?

It is one of those nightmare scenarios – you can control the house you buy, the location it sits in and redecorate it as much as you like, but what you can’t control is who is living next door to you! Whisper Cottage is a slow-burn thriller with a supernatural angle. I actually finished reading ‘The Woman in the Woods’ by Lisa Hall recently and this book is very similar – if you enjoyed that one I would recommend this. They also seemed to have very similar issues in terms of pacing and victim blaming!

As much as I love a horror/thriller story, Whisper Cottage was a little too slow paced for me. There’s a lot of description of boring, mundane everyday tasks, particularly after Elodie is born which I did not really enjoy and didn’t hurry the story along. I think the book would have really benefited from a sharp edit to cut these down and it would have made for a more compelling read. I also really didn’t enjoy how much of Stina’s behaviour was written off by other characters as being pregnant, hormonal, or hysterical.

As I read the book, I kept thinking it was likely to be a three-star review unless it pulled off a very good ending twist and I think Whisper Cottage does deliver this in part. I did not see the twist coming and there were also quite a few additional reveals as we got closer to the end. As much as I enjoyed the twist there were some things that were left very much not explained, and it also pulled apart some plot-holes from further back in the narrative. I presume that we are supposed to believe that some of the supernatural elements could have been true, but this seems cruel with the truth that was presented. I also didn’t really understand the narrative of ‘we lived to regret the day we asked Mrs Barley to help pay for the roof’ etc which is presented earlier on in the book, when actually the couple had very much a happier ending from meeting her than they would have done if they hadn’t!

Overall, Whisper Cottage is a slow-burn thriller but had pacing and plot-hole issues despite its interesting final twist. Thank you to NetGalley & Avon Books UK for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you Netgalley and Avon Books for what has possibly been my best read so far this year. 

Well written, great storyline, creepy, twisted and totally unexpected - what next?!  I'm still thinking about this a week later. 

Can I please have the next one?!
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Honestly, I am a bit conflicted about this book. I really enjoyed the creepy bits and how all the neighbors thought Mrs. Barley was an awful and possibly witchy woman, while Stina, the new neighbor is confused about all that is going on.  It had me guessing and second guessing about the mysterious Mrs. Barley (and all the accidents and bad things happening to the people around Stina) and I thought it was leading to something really great, but the ending was a bit of a let down. 

I guess I was hoping for more witchy (since that was the buildup) but it all turned out normal, if a bit icky. I would say the message of this book is that everybody has a secret history of some sort and we should refrain from judging.
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Whisper Cottage is a domestic thriller about Stina and Jack, a young couple who are desperate to leave the rat race that is Birmingham.  They are both sick and tired of worrying if they leave their front door unlocked even for ten seconds they are running the risk of aggravated burglary.  They find their dream home in the Warwickshire village of Avoncote and they just know they are going to be genuinely happy here.  Newlywed and expecting their first baby together and with the addition of the two-year-old border collie, Jobie life couldn’t be better.  The only thing that niggles at Stina is the village gossip about their elderly neighbour, Mrs. Barley, and why does she keep chanting at night? 

Jack has gained employment as a vet surgeon in the local practice.  He’ll need to put long hours in and the mortgage is slightly stretched and the house needs some work on it but they’ll cope.  It’s such an idyllic place to bring up a family.  Stina is pregnant and working from home as a freelance writer, it doesn’t pay much but it helps keep their heads above water.  The happy couple is enjoying getting to know their surroundings and the people of Avoncote but they all seem to want to warn them away from their neighbour, Mrs. Barley.  Witchcraft is intoned but they’ve only experienced warmth and friendliness from her.  She’s a bit eccentric but what elderly person isn’t?

Soon things become very strange.  She hears things go bump in the night, she hears conversations from Mrs. Barley’s home but they know she lives alone.  People close to Stina and Jack start having accidents and just who is the dark figure that only Stina can see hanging around next door’s summerhouse?  Jack doubts his wife and chalks it up to pregnancy hormones and a bit of insomnia and later after the birth of their child, sleep deprivation.  Stina likes their neighbour but she can’t deny that things are odd and there’s all the gossip.

The prologue is what had me tearing through the pages.  It was intriguing and very dark.  It was daring but the payoff was good.  As a mother, it just pulls at those heartstrings.  I enjoyed the majority of the book but the first half was more thrilling in the final half.  Towards the end of the story I felt like the plot dragged a lot, not much was happening and the final reveal felt a bit rushed.  I liked the ending it just felt a bit too sudden.  Overall a very enjoyable read.
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I have loved everything about this one. This is well-written and a book that I have been completely unwilling to put down. I am a huge fan of this author and cannot wait for more.
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A good read and an original storyline. My only criticism would be that Stina was a little gullible and naïve and this was quite frustrating. After all the spooky 👻 going's on , Pagan dolls and chanting that she saw in Mrs Barleys house she allowed her to look after her newborn daughter ! Besides that the book had a good ending that you didn’t see coming! Ideal book for Halloween 🎃
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This book was very good . It drew me in from the start .  I enjoyed the guessing with the twists and the turns. 
If you like a slightly creepy mystery, with a few clever twists, then I am recommending Whisper Cottage. I loved it, and will be looking for more to read from this author.
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Stina and Jack are newlyweds and now expecting a baby. Stina feels uneasy about a stranger spotted in her elderly neighbour’s garden but is more disturbed by the unkind attitude of the local community towards old Mrs Barley…
Whisper Cottage is a sinister psychological thriller which deals with the occult but also the secrets we hide to protect ourselves.
The main protagonist is Stina and the book is written from her first person narrative. She has had a difficult upbringing which overshadows her own pregnancy and early days of motherhood. She develops a strong friendship with elderly Mrs Barley next door but something feels off and she is worried about the mysterious stranger in her neighbour’s garden.
There is a mystical element to Mrs Barley’s nature with her knowledge of crystals and plants as well as her adherence to the pagan calendar. This has alienated her from the local community but Stina is sure that her behaviour is harmless. However, mysterious illnesses and injuries, even deaths, have been attributed to the seemingly benign Mrs Barley…
Stina is full of doubts about whether she can trust her own instincts. The tension grows throughout the book before coming to a satisfying conclusion with all the strands tied up. I felt a little disappointed as the paranormal element slips away in the final chapter: I wanted to stay spooked!
Whisper Cottage is an enjoyably tense and atmospheric thriller that combines spookiness with psychological components.
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Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

Stina and Jack leave the city behind and move to a more rural area when they find out they are expecting their first child together.  The lady next door is mysterious and strange. The area they have moved to is creepy and quiet, especially while Stina is alone.  All the makings of a creepy thriller.  But, I tried really hard to get into this book, I found it dreadfully slow and not much of a thriller.  The first few chapters made it seem like there would be a slow burn but it really just fizzled for me.
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Whisper Cottage is a slow, creeping story packed full of suspense. With twists and turns a-plenty, there's something unexpected around every corner.

The main character is Stina - a young woman who has just moved to a picturesque village with her partner Jack. But from malicious gossip to things that go bump in the night, it isn't long before Stina begins to wonder if her new home is really all it first seemed. Amongst a sea of unfamiliar faces, her neighbour Mrs Barley quickly becomes a good and dependable friend. Of course, though, there is always that little voice niggling in the back of her mind...

This novel is defined by its sense of place. The vast majority of the story is set in just two homes - Stina and Jack's, and Mrs Barley's. This lends it an almost claustrophobic feel. Like its characters, the plot quickly begins to seem stifled and confined. It's excellently written and this really adds to the atmosphere of the book. 

At points spine-tingling, at others desperately sad, this is a novel that turns the emotion up to 11. With shocking twists and dramatic revelations, Whisper Cottage will keep you guessing right until the very end.
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Stina and Jack move to the country.. to the perfect cottage.. as they settle in things get weird.. I love a good thriller & Whisper Cottage was pretty creepy.. in a good way.. The couple are so happy for a slower paced  town and a fresh start and their neighbor Mrs Bailey, seems like a godsend. Their cottage needs a lot of work and they are short in funds and time. As they get to know the town and their neighbor, things get very weird. There are so many twists and turns. What do the villagers know that they don’t know? Will this be a safe place to raise their baby? 
While Jack works, as a Vet, Stina is working at home and  starting to hear and see things.. Is her imagination getting the better of her? What’s going on with her? So many twists and turns to the very end. I can honestly say I didn’t know how it would end.. I think this is a very good book with an interesting storyline. It was a quick read and I really enjoyed it..
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Stina and her partner Jack move to an idyllic little town in the rural English countryside to a beautiful little cottage. Escaping the rat race of Birmingham they are looking a fresh start and this just the perfect setting for Jack to start his vet practice. Stina is pregnant  and her elderly neighbour Mrs Barley takes a shine to her, but Stina finds her a little odd and when she hears rumours of witchcraft, spells and the supernatural relating to Mrs Barley she gets a little caught up in the small mindedness of the villages view on her and starts to discover that she is beginning to think like the village does about her neighbour.

The story had everything  I was looking for - quaint rural village, mysterious going on, and whilst I really enjoyed the story I felt it was just needing that little bit more gothic, spooky, scare to it to just tip this to 5 stars, it was just missing that for me.
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Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clarke is a psychological thriller that is a debut novel. I loved the cover and synopsis and hoper the book kept the promise it seemed to hold. 
 We meet Jack and Stina, a couple who have moved to Wisteria Cottage in a sleepy village near Stratford-upon-Avon. They are expecting a baby and want a quieter life than what they have moved from. The Cottage is a 'fixer upper' but the couple are certain it will be their perfect home when it's finished. Their next door neighbour, Mrs Barley seems to be the perfect neighbour for them. Stina starts hearing weird noises in the night and sees a strange man in Mrs barleys garden. Then there are rumours Stina has heard in the village about their neighbour. Stina begins to think that Mrs Barley may be hiding something and she may not be what she appears.
 A twisty and creepy story that had me feeling uneasy at times. Mrs Barley herself seemed an enigma, with her quirky behaviour and all the things we see Stina experiencing really had me questioning what she was about. I found myself thinking I had it all worked out only to be proved wrong time after time. The tension slowly ramps up as the story slowly unfolds.Jack's logical explanation of any weird things just normalises these happenings but they are there in the background just adding the edge to the story.
  A tale of secrets and rumours which had me intrigued from the start. A dark and creepy story that kept me guessing and turning the pages until I had all the answers. A great debut that I would recommend if you enjoy creepy tales that keep you on edge. 
  Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and Avon Books for my gifted copy of the book.
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When Stina and Jack move into a new house, in a new town strange things start happening. They have moved in next door to the local witch that no one in town likes. First, Stina sees a man in her neighbor's yard that no one else seems to see and then she hears noises in the attic that the two houses share. Everyone in town feels the need to tell Stina all the rumors about her neighbor which makes her start to question everything she believes. 

This is a book of twists, some are easy to guess and others are big surprises. While one of them makes sense the big one at the end seems a little far fetched but kind of works. Whisper Cottage was enjoyable and a good debut novel.
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