Cover Image: Whisper Cottage

Whisper Cottage

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Member Reviews

Oh how I love a good psychological thriller! This is one of those books that stayed with me when I wasn’t reading it, trying to solve mysteries in my head. The twists and turns were a fun addition to a solid read!
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I love this kind of psychological thriller. One that gets under your skin. 

Stina and Jack are soon to be parents and are excited to be escaping the trappings of the city for the rural village of Avoncote. They soon become friends with their elderly neighbour, Mrs Barley. 

Then Stina sees a mysterious man in their neighbours garden, she begins to hear noises at night and finds out that other people in the village don't trust Mrs Barley. Is their new friend what she seems? 

From the beginning of this book, you're drawn into something sinister and this feeling bubbles throughout the novel. The suspense is built up so well that I couldn't really get a grip on how the story was going to play out. 

The characters are well developed and I did find Mrs Barley unsettling. I also didn't quite know what to make of Jack. Anne Wynn Clark does a good job at driving doubt into the reader, making them feel unsure of all the characters. 


I really didn't want to put this novel down, wanting to know what was going on. Who was the mysterious man? Was Mrs Barley like the village portrayed her to be? So many questions that I NEEDED the answer to and a few twists and turns that I didn't see coming. 

As well as the thriller aspect, there is a lot of emotion and themes of loss in this novel and I feel it was tackled well. 

There is not a lot more I can say without giving it away and I really hope it's a book you'll discover for yourself. It's a great thriller with a very unexpected ending. 

(Thank you to Anne, Avon Books and Netgalley for the advanced reading copy in exchange for an honest review.)
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I really enjoyed this book. 
Stina and Jack move out to the country as they’re expecting a baby and want a quieter life. 
They meet their neighbour who is an elderly woman and settle in well at first. 
Then Stina starts to hear noises at night but her husband is sound asleep. She then sees a man sneaking around at the back of her property and feels a little uneasy. 
She asks her neighbour if she knows the man but she tells Stina she has no idea who it could be. 
With the birth of the baby, Stina is getting less sleep and when she sees the man again, she asks her husband to install CCTV. 
The locals seem to dislike their neighbour, Mrs Barley, but she has always been kind to Stina and Jack. 
Events come to a conclusion and some secrets are revealed which completely turn everything upside down for Stina and Jack. 
This is an enjoyable read. 
Thanks to Avon Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book.
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<b>How well do you know the woman next door? </b> 

Looking for a fresh new start, Stina and Jack move into a rural cottage. It looks like the perfect spot to raise a family. They even have a friendly new neighbor, Mrs. Barley.  They live in a quaint English village and hope to become welcomed members of the community.  They become quick friends with their odd yet friendly neighbor and are shocked to learn that the town does not hold Mrs. Barley in the same esteem.  Soon Stina learns that members of the community believe Mrs. Barley is a witch who has hexed several of them. If one of them falls ill - blame falls on Mrs. Barley. But is she a witch or just a lonely old woman who has fallen victim to gossip and group fear?  

Stina and Jack are warned to stay away from Mrs. Barley. Told to not get on her bad side or something terrible would befall them. Both wonder what is the meaning of this "witch hunt"?  How could a helpful, gardening, friendly neighbor be capable of the deeds she is accused of? 

Jack, a veterinarian, works long hours and doesn't get to know Mrs. Barley as well as Stina does. He doesn't see or hear the things that Stina does. He doubts his wife and chalks up what she sees and hears to hormones from her pregnancy and later lack of sleep after giving birth to their daughter. Stina is torn, her neighbor is nice, helpful, and kind, yet things are strange, and she begins to have doubts....

The prologue to this book sucked me in right away. It's ominous and riveting. I rubbed my hands together and chuckled with glee knowing this was going to be gripping book.  Then the book slows down as Jack and Stina move into the cottage in Avoncote near Stratford on Avon.  For most of the book, things occur at a leisurely pace. as we get to know Mrs. Barley, Jack and Stina. We also get to know some of the people in their lives as well. As the story mounts, there is a sense of unease as Stina is seeing a mysterious man that neither her husband nor neighbor have seen.

The whispers in this book everywhere. There are whispers of the past, whispers of the villagers, and whispers in her marriage. Toward the end, things really pick up as Stina begins to question not only her sanity but the motivations of her neighbor. Along the way she also learns something disturbing that affects her personally. 

I was a little all over the place with the rating of this book. I loved the prologue and enjoyed the ending of the book. The beginning and middle were slow but enjoyable. The entire time I knew that the author was building the story, to be patient and wait. There is a very nice payoff at the end. 

Anne Wyn Clark's writing really shined with the unease and sense of doubt she created throughout the book. I wondered as well, was Mrs. Barley a lonely outcast who lived on the fringes of society for too long? Was she misunderstood and eccentric? Or was there something more sinister going on. I loved the dubious assumptions made in this book.

Overall, an enjoyable book that I wished had more oomph in the middle.  But it did entertain and had me guessing. I love trying to figure a book out and had a few guesses about how things would turn out. I was wrong and was pleasantly surprised at how tings unfolded at the end.

3.5 stars

Thank you to Avon Books UK and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
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𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝙙𝙤𝙤𝙧?' 

The premise of the story was itself appealing to me. Didn't take me more than a few pages to be absorbed in the lives of Stina and Jack. Throughout the book, I was hoping for it to not turn into a disappointment.

The story begins with Stina and Jack finding out that they are soon to be parents. They decide to raise their child in a village named Avoncote rather than in City. They find a beautiful house where their only neighbor was an odd old Lady. Even though the old lady, Mrs. Barley, was nothing but kind to Stina and Jack, she was a little arrogant to the others. Few days into the village and Stina discovers that everyone else in the village spoke nothing but ill of the old lady. they also believed she was a witch. 

Stina was loved and adored by Mrs. Barley and therefore she gave no attention to the negatives she heard about her neighbor. Although a few incidents, in and around the house, over time caused Stina to question if she was fully cognizant about the innocence and acts of her neighbor. 

Though the character of Mrs. Barley was suspicious and secretive, I was more interested in Stina. She wasn't an easy main character who everyone would just love. 
Her relationship with Jack was admirable. (seemed unreal) 

The introduction, to the story, to the climax was a rollercoaster ride. Was she haunted by a ghost or was Mrs. Barley a witch or was she just hallucinating.

And the END... was an amazing twister.   

Thank you Netgalley and publishers for approving my request.
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This is a hard book for me to rate, have decide on 3.5 stars rounding up to 4 stars
Stina and Jack are a newly married couple expecting their first child. They have moved to a small town called Avoncote for Jack’s work opportunities, purchasing a small cottage next to another where Mrs Barley resides. Old Mrs Barley is a godsend to Stina and Jack and nothing but friendly and helpful but she is loathed by a lot of community members and does have some strange ideas.  But who is the strange man only Stina can see entering Mrs Barley’s premise and what about the noises coming from her cottage at night? 
Overall I enjoyed this book and I really liked the ending, especially not being what I expected. The main issue I felt is the book had a lots of sub text wasn’t really needed, the storyline could have been cut down, there was Stina’s backstory, her relationship Jack and Mrs Barley. While it was all necessary I felt there was a lot of waffling especially in the 1st half.
But it does move quicker in the second half and in that instance increased my rating.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
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This was such a creepy book, it draws you in right from the start and keeps on giving until the end when things start to come together and make sense. I enjoyed this book very much and I haven’t read such a sinister book in a very long time. This would make a great film, it really sent shivers down my spine. I wanted to give this more than five stars. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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Really enjoyed this dark, creepy suspense novel. The characters were so well drawn and relatable. Loved how the small village mentality was captured. The secrets were slowly unravelled in such a way as to keep you guessing - and the revelations were dark and unsettling! A solid debut.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

moving into your own place in a village can be hard but when stina and her partner start to hear rumours about their neighbour things start to fall apart...

stina i found very hard to like and judgemental...in fact if i met her in real life i would avoid her and as it was because i had a hard time liking her i found the book hard going.... and was finding other things to do....

so this is a miss from me
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Rating: 4.58 
Enjoyment: 8/10

Stina and Jack move to a fixer-upper cottage in rural England. The only nearby home is Mrs. Barley's. The couple quickly befriends their elderly neighbour, despite the apparent dislike the whole village has for her.
Not long after they settle down, strange things start to bother Stina, such as strange noises in the middle of the night and a strange figure lurking in the widow's garden. 

Is there any truth to the village gossip? Can she trust her neighbour? Stina is not so sure what to believe anymore.

I enjoyed the underlined message in the text of how idle gossip can ruin people's lives. I also really appreciate the overall atmosphere of the book. It was dark and claustrophobic; having a pregnant character as a paranoid protagonist is a gamble as it can quickly go wrong, but Clark delivered Stina's arc with so much care and respect and avoided many cheap tropes which I thoroughly enjoyed. Even though I was disappointed in the way the book ended, I would still reread it. The relationship between Stina and Mrs. Barsley was dynamic and beautiful and worth the read, in my opinion. 

Disclaimer: I first read it as an ARC. In exchange for an honest review, I am thankful to Avon Books UK, Anne Wyn Clark, and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of Whisper Cottage.
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Whisper Cottage follows a couple (Stina and Jack) and their new neighbor (Mrs. Barley).  Overall, I enjoyed Whisper Cottage but found that it moved a bit slow for me. There were definitely many unexpected twists that I didn't see coming.
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I absolutely loved this book.  I was unable to put it down and read it in record time.  The story of Stina and Jack was compelling and their life at their cottage was enthralling.  The twists and turns of the story was fast paced and quite surprising at times.  The twist as the end was jaw dropping.  A fantastic read.
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3.5 Stars rounded up to 4.
Stina and Jack have recently moved into an old cottage. They bought it as a doer-upper as an escape from city life as they are pregnant with their first child. The cottage is semi-detached and the neighbour is an old woman who lives alone - Mrs Barley. She's got a bit of a reputation in the village as Stina finds out from some of the locals but, to them, she is more than generous and her heart is in the right place. But Stina thinks there might be more to her as strange things start to happen. She hears and sees things that other don't. Could it be hormones or, given her mother's medical history, is she simply just going mad.
This is a spooky tale and could have been so much better had the tension not been broken every time it started to get going by the author segueing off to visit one of the characters' pasts for background. It's a bit slow to get going but when it does get there it really goes off. It just takes a bit of will to get there.
Pacing was hit and miss for all the reasons above but the story does get on with itself with only that backstory stuff to distract. Even that was written in a concise way with little waffle or padding. There were one r two things that in my opinion could have been cut as they didn't seem to add anything to the narrative or characters.
Characterisation was good. I really connected with Stina from the get-go so it was easy to emote with what was happening. Other characters were also well drawn and acted well within their remits. I'd actually love to have a sit down coffee and cake with Mrs Barley cos she intrigued me so much along the way.
All in all, a decent enough read that could have been so much more given a decent polish. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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Loved this book.  

Was a bit of a slow starter but once it got going I found it hard to put down.

I loved the characters and the plot twists were just spookily off the scale.

An astounding brilliant light hearted mystery that had more twists than a well known theme park.

Highly recommended 5 stars from me.
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I found Whisper Cottage to be quite a slow burner of a story. When I read the description I was really looking forward to it but for some reason, that I can't put my finger on, it just didn't live up to my expectations. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for my ARC.
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I really loved reading this book. It was different and darker than I expected, and it was one of those books that you think about when you are doing other things, and made me look forward to picking up my kindle and reading more. I had not got a clue how it was going to end, but I had a few ideas, none of them proved to be anywhere near the truth though, and I loved that. Cracking book, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and would happily recommend it to other readers.
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Whisper Cottage is about a young couple, Stina and Jack and their elderly next door neighbour Mrs Bailey.Stina and Jack have moved from hectic city life to the calm of the countryside but suddenly strange things start to happen and they wonder if it was a good move after all ! .Part thriller with hints of ghostly going ons and witches I enjoyed this book which was very hard to put down Everyone has secrets they don't want exposed ,I loved the unexpected ending .Many thanks to the Publisher ,the Author and Net Galley for my copy in return for an honest review .
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Stina and Jack move to a secluded cottage at the edge of a village. They are newly married and expecting a baby.
Their next door neighbour, Mrs Barley, ha lived in her cottage all her life and soon becomes friends with the couple.
Stina sees a mysterious person in Mrs Barley's garden and hears strange noises from next door. Is she seeing things not there? Her life begins to unravel  and she begins to doubt Mrs Barley. Why do the villagers avoid her and why is she so friendly with them?
I enjoyed this book but felt the ending was weak . It just fizzled out.
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This just didn’t end up being a book that interested me. When I first read the premise, I was very excited and invested, but getting into it made it clear that it just wasn’t for me. Hopefully it works for others out there!
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A compelling intriguing thriller that caught my interest on page 1 and kept it there until the last,great characters,full of suspense and an altogether really good read
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