by Anne Wyn Clark
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 02 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 03 Sep 2021
Avon Books UK, Avon
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 compared to their neighbour’s, 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 picture-perfect home?
A haunting, twisty story about the power of secrets and rumours, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key and Lucy Atkins’s Magpie Lane.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 203 members
An Unsettling Turn For The Worse….
Stina and Jack are looking for a fresh start, a new life together. When they come across a rural, run down cottage they think that they’ve found the ideal place to make that new start a reality. To top it off, their new neighbour, Mrs Barley, is generous to a fault. Events, however, are about to take an unsettling and drastic turn for the worse. Intriguing suspense which, after a slow build, becomes a compelling read.
This was a creepy read! I started this, and once I started, I couldn't stop! The characters are well written. I was there with Jack and Stina, as they started their life in small town Avoncote, England. Their new cottage is charming, though their new neighbor, old Mrs. Barley, seems very odd. Is she a witch? Why does everyone in the town hate her? Who is the strange man who shows up in her cottage? Strange things happen around them, and you wonder if Mrs. Barley had anything to do with these odd events.
I enjoyed this read, it hooked me right from the beginning. However, the ending seemed a but rushed and felt a little flat. It made me really wonder how much we really know about people, though.
I'm so glad I requested this ARC, it was brilliant! I loved the very well written plotline & the characters, especially Mrs Barley. As thrillers go, this was everything...suspenseful, gripping, compulsive & haunting.
'𝙃𝙤𝙬 𝙬𝙚𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙤 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙠𝙣𝙤𝙬 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙤𝙢𝙖𝙣 𝙣𝙚𝙭𝙩 𝙙𝙤𝙤𝙧?'
It would make an amazeballs @netflixfilm (hint, hint)!
'𝙒𝙝𝙮 𝙙𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙫𝙞𝙡𝙡𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙧𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙞𝙨𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙝𝙚𝙧? 𝙒𝙝𝙮 𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙤 𝙚𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙤 𝙝𝙚𝙡𝙥 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙤𝙪𝙥𝙡𝙚? 𝘼𝙣𝙙 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙝𝙚 𝙝𝙞𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙣 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙥𝙞𝙘𝙩𝙪𝙧𝙚-𝙥𝙚𝙧𝙛𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙝𝙤𝙢𝙚?'
Stina & Jack have just moved into their rural cottage, hoping for a fresh start. Their elderly neighbour Mrs Barley soon becomes a friend helping them in any way she can.
When pregnant Stina begins to hear strange noises at night & then sees a mysterious figure through the window, she finds herself beginning to question whether Mrs Barley is what she seems.
Many thanks to Netgalley for my ARC in return for my honest review
𝗜 𝗴𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗮 5 ⭐ 𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴
I was shocked to the core when I finished Whisper Cottage and that doesn’t happen often!
It’s one of those stories that you’re dying to figure out (but can’t!). Also has excellent character development and creepy location.
5/5, loved it.
A dark and sinister read. Holds your interest till the very end. Unexpected ending. Written in a fast paced easy to read way. Loved this book. Add to my collection to be read again and again!
Stina and her husband Jack are thrilled to move into their new house in the country. Jack is busy working long days as a vet, while Stina is at home working as a freelance author. She is also expecting their first child. Soon after moving in they meet their neighbor, Mrs. Barley, who lives on the other side of the shared wall. While elderly Mrs. Barley seems friendly enough, if a bit odd, they soon find out that she is something of an outcast in the village. People believe she is a witch, and do nothing to hide their superstitions. Stina soon begins to wonder if there is something sinister about her neighbor when she notices a strange man loitering around Mrs. Barley's shed in the back garden. No one else ever sees the man, or seems to believe that he's anything other than a figment of Stina's imagination. Then there is the huge black crow, Corvus, who always appears when Mrs. Barley steps outside. The most troubling thing, however, is how people who cross Mrs. Barley end up ill (or worse) soon afterwards. Can Stina really trust Mrs. Barley, or will she be the next one to fall foul of "the witch?"
I enjoyed the tension that built slowly in the story. While Stina did some questionable things in her search for what was going on with her neighbor, the clues were sufficient for me to wonder what Mrs. Barley would do next! The closed nature of the small village also was portrayed very well. The explanation for Mrs. Barley's odd behavior was certainly not what I was expecting, but it made sense at the end!
Stina and her husband Jack move to an old rural cottage, excited for a fresh start, with a new job for Jack and a baby on the way. The house needs a lot of work done but the couple are sure they can make it into the perfect family home. Their neighbour Mrs Barley, who lives in the beautiful cottage next door, is kind and generous to the couple and quickly becomes a friend. However the newfound happiness takes a turn when Stina spots a strange man in old Mrs Barley's garden, and then hears strange noises in the night. With all the rumours in the village about Mrs Barley, Stina begins to wonder if she is really what she seems. Could she be hiding something in her perfect home?
A thrilling tale of secrets and rumours, this story is dark and creepy and keeps you turning the pages until you find out what is going on. With a few brilliant and shocking twists, I really recommend this book.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advance copy of the book in return for my honest feedback.
This is one of those addictive thrillers that draws you in from the first page! Stina and Jack have just moved into a lovely rural area to get away from the crime-ridden city as Stina is about to give birth to their first child. Their elderly neighbor, Mrs. Barley seems to be a kind woman, always ready with treats and helpful hints, but there is gossip about her that is less than kind. So when Stina sees a man traipsing through her garden, she becomes suspicious and even more so when she begins to hear noises at night. What secrets are being kept and who is to blame for odd happenings? I enjoyed this as it's different than most thrillers and kept me guessing until the end!
Stina and her husband, Jack, have moved into a new home, the perfect quaint little cottage in the cutest village. She is pregnant with their first child and can't believe how wonderfully everything has worked out for her. She can't wait to start working on getting their property up to par with their neighbor's, Mrs. Barley. She's an elderly widow who doesn't have visitors and seems to be a sort of village pariah. But whenever Stina attempts to get a clear reason for everyone's dislike of Mrs. Barley, she's not satisfied. They offer vague reasoning, saying she's just always been an awful person as far back as they can remember. Stina believes it's mainly due to the old woman's 'witchy' ways - herbal remedies, pagan holidays, etc. She's nonplussed and sees Mrs. Barley as harmless, if slightly eccentric.
But of course, things start getting weird. There's a man only she seems to see in her neighbor's garden. There are noises in their joined attic that keep her up all night, but only she hears them. Anyone that Mrs. Barley doesn't fully approve of soon finds themselves sick or out of sorts. But those are surely just coincidences. And her lack of sleep from pregnancy and then caring for a newborn could surely have her imagining things...right? Stina begins to wonder if the villagers have been right all along.
I thought the story might be just another in the line of 'mysterious occurrences obviously due to the suspicious character' books that seem to be common. But it's not! There's a lot more here than you'd first think. There are even some subplots that kind of seemed unresolved, (Reggie) but I guess not everything can be expected to wrap up neatly. And be prepared for baby exhaustion! You'll feel like you're raising one yourself, such is the length and detail about sleep-deprived parents. It's necessary though, to envision how Stina would perceive the mysterious Mrs. Barley when she's barely coping, herself. But I don't think anything could prepare you for what she ultimately uncovers!
This novel was everything I hoped it would be! Whisper Cottage was a creepy mystery that had me on the hook from start to finish!
Centering around a couple, Stina and Jack, who after they find out they are expecting, move to a small town to prepare for their new addition. After befriending their elderly neighbor, Stina sees and hears odd things and makes it her mission to get to the bottom of everything!
I devoured this book in a couple sitting because I needed to find out what was going on! Anne Wyn Clark did a great job with building the suspense and at the perfect moment dropping twists and turn to keep the reader enthralled! I really look forward to reading more from Anne Wyn Clark in the future!
Whisper Cottage is a twisty, creepy book and I enjoyed every page. I was surprised by the final twitching I did not see coming!
Whisper Cottage is Anne Wyn Clark's latest book. When Stina and Jack move into their new cottage next to Mrs Barley strange things start happening. A strange man that only Stina sees and village gossip is very anti Mrs Barley. Is she a witch?
This was a gripping tale of intrigue, and ever so slightly hair-raisingly scary occasionally. I found it a little slow to begin with, but impossible to put down.
The characterisation was flawless, enabling me to develop a full understanding of Stina, or so I thought until the end.
The final reveal, and the shocking twist at the end took me completely by surprise.
Not the type of book I would normally read but glad I did. This is a thriller not to be missed. Would make a good film too
.. just saying.
One I just this beautiful cover! Beautiful and it caught my eye!.
This creepy, addictive book grabbed me by surprise and didn't let go!
I loved every second of it! The twist are back to back.... Really enjoyed that!
The characters were amazing. Awesome character development.
This twisty read you won't want to miss!
Thank you NetGalley and Avon for this advance ebook copy!
I do love a good neighbor obsession book! Is Mrs. Barley what she appears to be, a friendly, welcoming neighbor, or is she something else entirely? This is a creepy story about obsession, the story flows perfectly it certainly had me gripped. I’m happy to give this thriller a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Rating and look forward to seeing what Anne Wyn Clark brings out next!
Hoping for a do over, Stina and Jack move to the country and into an old cottage that’s seen better days. They hope to make their house look as good as their neighbor’s and indeed, Mrs. Barley seems more than happy to help them. Their new neighbor becomes a good friend and Stina feels herself relaxing into her new life, until she sees a mysterious shadow in Mrs. Barley’s garden. Is Mrs. Barley what she appears to be, a friendly, welcoming neighbor, or is she something else entirely? A creepy story about obsession.
A quick witted thriller about obsession. This book is so creepy and sinister at points. I absolutely enjoyed and would recommend.
What an excellent and gripping read. I hope the author has more like this up her sleeve.
I raced through it, I was eager to know what happened. Would recommend this heartily and fulsomely.
Creepy chilling I was drawn right in.The writing the story flowed kept me on the edge of my seat.I was shocked by the ending.Will be recommending so glad I requested.#netball #avonboojsuk
This psychological thriller grabs the reader's attention immediately with a shocking prologue and continues to ramp up the slowly building sense of dread as the story progresses. Stina and Jack move to the sleepy village of Avoncote after Stina becomes pregnant, hoping to raise their child in the safe and serene countryside. Their next-door neighbor, Mrs. Barley, is an elderly woman who couldn't be kinder to the couple, but they soon realize that the rest of the town's inhabitants regard her with hostility and suspicion. Is she really a harmless old lady whom the ignorant stigmatize because of their suspicious narrow-mindedness? Occasional vitriolic outbursts from the old woman sometimes give Stina pause, as do the sinister-looking small dolls that she makes, and the way that the people she doesn't like seem to attract misfortune. Then there's the mysterious young man that keeps appearing in Mrs. Barley's garden and summer house--a figure that always vanishes before anyone but Stina can see him. As the story builds toward its climax, threads of paranoia and guilt arising from Stina's past become interwoven with her present circumstances until she questions her own sanity. This is a well-written narrative in which suspense develops slowly but compellingly to its conclusion. The characters evolve believably and the relationships between them ring true, and several twists in the tale as the story concludes keep the reader guessing until the end.
Stina and Jack move to an ideal country cottage in a small village and I thought that this was going to be one of those twee stories of a new life, finding that cockerels crow at 3am, church bells aren't as musical as the TV suggests. Fortunately it rapidly moves on. The neighbour is an odd duck - elderly widow, brusque, hated by everyone in the village for being a witch or something. Stina is expecting their first child. She has history as does Jack apparently. They get on with the neighbour. There are spooky goings-on, Stina starts getting paranoid, Jack, busy vet, too tired to believe her and so on. The story daws you in and, although I had an inclining about Mrs Barley it was more than I thought at the end. A compelling read with one loose end suggesting more to come?Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books UK for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
Stina and Jack are looking to make a fresh start in life and when they come across a rural, run down cottage they think that they’ve hit the jackpot - this place seems like just the cottage and location for them to do that. To seal the deal their new neighbour, Mrs Barley is the perfect neighbour, she is friendly, kind and generous. However is their idyllic new life all it seems - things are about to take a rather drastic turn and not for the better. This is a suspenseful novel. which I really enjoyed. I would definitey recommend
We love strange men that only one person sees. It was a slow beginning but by the end, you see why that was needed. Stina was a fun character to follow. Well, fun may not be the word, but know know that I mean. Why doesn't anyone like Mrs. Barley? Who is she? Who is the weird man in the garden? SO GOOD.
I really loved this book!! It had so many twists and turns. It kept me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next!! This was my first book by this Author, and it won’t be the last!! Quick read!! Highly recommended!! You won’t be disappointed!!
Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book. Jack and Stina decide to purchase a cottage together in a small town. When Stila meets her neighbors, she is so nice. When strange things begin to happen, Stila questions everything she knows. I liked this book.
This book is absolutely riveting from the get go. A slow build and full of suspense it kept me turning pages and wanting to know what was happening.
A very enjoyable thriller which kept me guessing throughout, I must say I didn’t figure out the ending in fact I got it completely wrong! Highly recommend if you want a story that keeps you on your toes
This novel went in a direction that I wasn’t expecting, but not in a gimmicky way. I can’t say more without spoiling the ending though. There are many twists and I did enjoy the read, so it was ultimately satisfying. Stina and Jack move into a cottage when she gets pregnant. They want to raise their child in the country. Their neighbor is a kindly, but odd, old lady and the rumors about her aren’t good. Stina gives her a chance, but there is something strange about her. The setting is very atmospheric and creepy. Stina is on the verge of being hysterical, but she was always relatable. Mental illness runs in her family and she worries that the things she’s seeing are not real. I liked the supporting characters as well. This is an addictive and unpredictable read.
I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. Thank you, NetGalley/ Avon Books UK!
🧨🧨🧨 this review may contains spoiler 🧨🧨
Thankyou #netgalley for giving me this arc for an honest review .
The story began with a newlyweds getting a new life in country side area. They get on with their neighbours instantly. The story is very well written,precise and won't you bore.
The fact that I love the story is when stina and Mrs barley closeness. I would love that, it was amazing.
But why wonder where is the 1 star go if it is a good story? Well, stina is seeing things and it got to the part that it doesn't add up if it's true or not . Is she illusionist this things? .
Secondly, the ending was a bit of a blur that she went to her aunts house and she did something questionable? I mean I don't get the ending at all, if it's matches with the relationship with the neighbours. Just a blur.
Anyhow, the book deserves a 4⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
#netgalley #whispercottage #avonpublishers #annewynclark
Stina and her husband Jack move to the country for a better life for their forthcoming family. The move into a semi-detached cottage next door to Mrs Barley. The villagers all have strange tales to tell about Mrs Barley, but she has been nothing but kindness to Stina and Jack. But soon Stina's sleep pattern is disturbed by strange noises at night and a man who only she seems to see. Is all with Mrs Barley as it seems or are the villagers correct in their insinuations?
An intruiging read that had my mind twisted in knows as to what the outcome could be.
Many thanks to Netgalley and Avon publishers for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review
4 stars. Do we ever truly know our neighbors? Our spouses? Sometimes knowing the truth can ruin everything. Would you want to know if you could?
Initially, I wasn't sure what to think of this one. It definitely deals with some dark topics, but it definitely held my interest and was hard to put down. And yikes, I thought I had it figured out but I was oh so wrong. This was a creepy but enjoyable read.
Life is going to be much simpler when Stina and Jack move to Avoncote. Stina is pregnant and they are looking forward to the birth of their first child, home renovations, and getting to know their neighbors. Elderly Mr. Barley lives in the cottage next to them. She is a pleasant woman, so why do the people in the village have nothing good to say about her? She seems a little testy at times, but Stina chalks it up to old age and loneliness.
She treats them well, but why does it seem that anyone she dislikes has the worst luck? Could the townspeople be right? Did they move next door to a witch? The peaceful countryside doesn't seem quite as nice as Stina experiences some strange events. She sees a man in Mrs. Barley's yard who she says doesn't exist and strange noises ruin her sleep.
Stina has a past full of secrets and now she wonders if Mrs. Barley does too. I had my theories about how all of this would come together, and I didn't even come close. The ending was a bit of a letdown, and I did wish there was more tension in the story. Overall though, most of the threads wrapped up in a way that made sense. 3.5 stars.
This was exciting and very creepy to read at night. This was a fantastically timed novel as so many city dwellers are considering getting out and living in the country, I may have changed my mind after this!
Stina and Jack have moved to the country as they are expecting their first child and are looking to provide a nicer place and pace of life.
But their new neighbor Mrs Barley seems a little strange, are they even safe?
Full of twists and turns you just don’t see coming.
Life seems idyllic for Jack and Stina once they move from the hustle and bustle of the city to their rural retreat. Slowly the whispers about the old lady who lives next door start to reach their ears. She’s always been nothing but friendly and kind to the couple but then certain coincidences occur and who is the mystery man only Stina can see prowling the old lady’s garden late at night? Maybe the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and her mother’s psychiatric problems are genetic after all.
I throughly enjoyed this book and read it in one sitting. I will be looking forward to future books by this author.
A super suspenseful book with lots of twists and "could it be you' moments. Overall, I found this book to be well-written and with believable characters with a storyline that keeps the reader guessing until the end.
Four Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark is a psychological thriller that is full of surprises, twists, and turns. If you’re a fan of psychological thrillers, Whisper Cottage will not disappoint.
When Jack, a veterinarian gets a job in a rural village near Stratford Upon Avon, he and his wife Stina move into an old rural cottage in a small village nearby. They meet their new neighbor, Mrs. Bailey, an elderly woman who lives next door. They soon become friends with Mrs. Bailey even though most of the villagers stay far away from her.
Stina sees a mysterious figure in Mrs. Bailey’s garden but neither her husband Jack, nor Mrs. Bailey ever sees this figure, and they all blame her sightings on the stress of her pregnancy, but Stina knows what she saw, and can’t forget him, or the mysterious noises she hears from their shared attic. What if Mrs. Bailey isn’t what she appears to be?
Whisper Cottage starts off a bit slow as we learn about Jack, Stina, and Mrs. Bailey, but once the action starts, the book takes off on a wild ride. I have to admit here that I am not a fan of psychological thrillers because I feel some anxiety when I read them. And Whisper Cottage was no different. But, because I was anxious while I was reading this book, I also knew it was very well written as I really didn’t know what was coming next, which proves to me that Anne Wyn Clark is a talented writer. The ending of this book was a real surprise that I did not expect, at all, and the authors’ talent at spinning such a twisted story is evident. I highly recommend Whisper Cottage to fans of physiological thrillers. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
This was a very quick read. It was unputdownable. I loved it! It had me hooked from the beginning. Great, fast paced mystery.
This was a very well written book. The plot was very enticing and I couldn't put the book down. This was a new to me author and I will definitely try another book by this author. Loved the cover.
Seeking a quiet, safe place to live and raise a family, Stina and Jack move out of the crime ridden city into an old, neglected cottage in the small village of Avoncote. Rolling up their sleeves, they begin working to make their new home cozy and charming - like the beautiful semi-attached cottage next door occupied by an eccentric old lady named Mrs. Barley. It soon becomes obvious that the locals avoid that cottage and Mrs. Barley like the plague. Rumors of witchcraft and spells spread wide and far - along with warnings to stay away from her, and yet for the most part, Mrs. Barley is nothing but sweet and kind to Stina and Jack. Working as a vet, Jack spends long hours away from home and thus doesn't hear or see the unsettling happenings when they begin occurring as Stina does. A strange man wandering in Mrs. Barley's courtyard that no one else admits to seeing, strange scraping sounds coming from the shared attic late at night, Mrs. Barley's chanting while sitting in a circle of candles, Mrs. Barley's sudden mood swings and weird little dolls - all lead Stina to begin her own ill-timed investigation . . . and eventually question her own sanity. Is something sinister lurking in the cottage next door . . . or is Stina succumbing to the same mental illness as her mother? Is their new home a safe haven . . . or their worst nightmare?
Whisper Cottage is a tense, gripping read that captures you in the eerie prologue and holds you prisoner until the final shocking revelation - I'm talking edge-of-your-seat suspense. Through brilliant manipulation of prose, Clark sets and maintains a chilling atmosphere of impending doom throughout the story - a dark tone fueled by vicious rumors, life-altering secrets, sinister happenings, hints of mental instability and paranormal vibes. Stina is an unreliable narrator and through flashbacks, readers become aware of her buried secrets including the source of her mental concerns. And while it's obvious Mrs. Barley is hiding something, her role is so well played that some of her scenes made me think of grandmothers baking apple pies while others gave me chill bumps. Who is she? Good? Evil? Is Stina the only one who "sees"? Or has she slipped into insanity? A dangerous vibe permeates the pages as this story unfolds. I turned pages cautiously - almost afraid to see what would happen next. Whisper Cottage is a chilling story that whispers warnings . . . beware your secrets less they bury you alive. Fans of mystery and suspense are going to gobble this one up. The perfect read for a dark, foggy night.
Whisper cottage has new residents, newlyweds Jack and Stina, who after moving in, come to realize their dream home hides something sinister.
The plot is well thought out and interesting, I enjoyed following the story and was really curious to find out what had happened.
I did feel this was more of a drama than a suspenseful read. I expected there to be more tension. I feel that the threat towards Stina in her home could have been made more of and then it would have really added that atmospheric touch. It felt more intriguing rather than threatening or sinister.
The characters however were well developed, I was really inquisitive about Mrs Barley. My opinion of her changed almost by the page and it made it really mind bending.I think she was a curious and capturing character that I followed closely and it made me want to read on. I also really liked that you didn't really learn about her true intentions until the end, this was a surprise and really added to the story.
All in all I enjoyed unraveling all the secrets behind the characters. I think the addiction of the occult elements really added to the atmosphere and mystery.
A great read, not what I expected but equally as intriguing.
Thank you to Netgalley, Avon and Ann Wyn Clark for the advance copy.
This was such a bewitching read. I was drawn in from the first page and it kept me guessing until the end, with twists that made me gasp. Well-crafted and infinitely readable.
Starts nice and easy but always with just an underlying threat that this can't last. As the threat becomes more overt - and more are added - even the reader starts to doubt what is and isn't happening with even more twists to come at the end. A good story that keeps the reader guessing to the end.
In a word to sum it up 'brilliant'!. The whole reading experience was 'chilling' and 'sinister'. The characters , premise and the plot are fantastic. How the climax turned out to be was quite unpredictable and unexpected. Just loved Stina's character in the book. Every emotion and every act is amazing and are highlights in the book.At one point , I was totally convinced that this must be a horror genre book, you would know why , when you'll read the book.
Recommendation: The mystery, thriller and suspense genres fans mustn't miss this book. It is so good that you would want to finish it in one go!
Thank you to Netgalley for my free copy in return for my honest review.
I am a fan of psychological thrillers. Surely I felt anxiety and tensed while I was reading it. Definitely it's one of those addictive thrillers that could draw me in from the first page. It's fast paced and well written. Also, it's a tense, gripping and compelling read that gripped me in the prologue and I was hooked me until the final revelation. Lots of twists and turns I couldn't figure out what's coming next. The author really is a genius and the ending gave me full surprise. Certainly this is the book would keep your seat on edge. I really enjoyed the tension that kept my attention and I was so absorbed. The story was full of secrets and rumours which were dark and creepy. It's absolutely unputdownable and kept me guessing till the end. I really recommend this book.
My first novel by Anne Wyn Clark and I did enjoy this novel. For me personally I found it quite slow paced to start with but it did suddenly grip me and draw me in.
We meet Stina and Jack a married couple who move to the countryside from a larger city. Their next door neighbour Mrs Barley soon befriends them, Mrs Barley is quite a strange individual but Stina and Jack do not seem to notice - especially as most of the other villagers keep their distance from her.
I really enjoyed the mystery in this novel and the many twists and turns that I did not see coming. I did find Stina quite an unlikeable character. Stina starts to notice strange things that occur and also a man in Mrs Barleys garden - she seems to be the only person who notices this strange man so the novel has an undercurrent somewhat of an anxious and/or paranoid woman.
This novel possess many twists and turns and if you like a good mystery then do give this book a read.
Thanks to NetGalley, Anne Wyn Clark and the publishers for an advanced copy of Whisper Cottage in exchange for my honest review.
I’d like to thank Avon Books UK and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘Whisper Cottage’ by Ann Wyn Clark in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.
Stina and Jack move to ‘Whisper Cottage’, a semi-detached house in the sleepy hamlet of Avoncote. The adjoining house, ‘Rose Cottage’ is owned by Mrs Barley, an elderly widow who soon becomes a friend and when Stina gives birth to Elodie she’s happy to help and babysit for her daughter. Stina is woken at night by sounds in their shared loft and when she asks Mrs Barley if she’s had a visitor she denies it. Then she sees a stranger in Mrs Barley’s garden but when nobody else sees him she thinks her mind’s playing tricks.
‘Whisper Cottage’ is about a young couple who’re starting afresh and the old lady who lives next door to them who’s the subject of wicked rumours. All three of them have secrets they want to keep hidden. It has a well-written plot that’s part mystery/part ghost story and gets quite chilling at times. The more involved I got with the story and the characters developed further, the more intrigue, menace and suspense emerged with an added ghostly haunting in the background leaving a taste of witchery and spiritual beings. I became so engrossed in the story I couldn’t stop reading and the pages kept turning as I had to find out how the story was going to evolve. I should have guessed the ending but didn’t, so the final twist was a total surprise and completely unexpected. This is an easy to book to read and very enjoyable.
Stina and Jack Mason decide on a complete change of lifestyle when Stina announces she is pregnant. They get married, buy a country cottage at Avoncote and Jack, who is a vet, finds a better paying job although the hours are a bit longer. Their home, Wisteria Cottage, needs a bit of work but the young couple is prepared for that. Their neighbour, the elderly Mrs Barley, is very friendly and helpful towards them and Stina can’t understand the antipathy the other villagers have towards her.
Stina notices a strange man in next door’s garden on a couple of occasions but Mrs Barley disavows any knowledge of this stranger and Jack is yet to see him. Stina also hears some strange noises overhead during the night, as if things are being dragged around in the combined attic space of the two houses. But again, there is no evidence of any strange goings on. Soon enough baby Elodie is born and Mrs Barley is an invaluable help to Stina although she does have some strange, almost pagan, beliefs. There is a shrine to her beloved dead husband, Frank, in her home. She believes in the power of crystals and is friends with a crow she calls Corvus! As Mrs Barley and Stina are looking at some photos from Mrs Barley’s past she realises that the mysterious visitor is the spitting image of Frank. Is Stina seeing a ghost? Or is the answer far more prosaic?
Well this started a bit on the slow side but ended with a bang! Yet even at the start I was fully engaged with this book. There was a creepy, unsettling vibe throughout the whole book. It wasn’t scary at all but it did feel a bit menacing and I was worried for the whole Mason family. As is customary in psychological thrillers the major characters all had secrets to protect, some more than others. As it turns out Mrs Barley was a very dark horse indeed. I really liked her character. That’s not to say she was entirely likeable but she was enigmatic and very interesting. It was quite clear she was hiding something dark! I was almost desperate to find out what was going with Mrs Barley. The rest of the villagers had a very poor opinion of her and some even considered her a witch although she was nothing but supportive of Stina and Jack.
For a change, the husband (Jack in this case) was not a lowlife but a loving and supportive partner to Stina - even if he had a teeny little secret of his own. Stina herself had a troubled childhood and lacked some confidence but she was not the usual whiny, hysterical female so I warmed to her immediately. Towards the end of the story the twists came thick and fast but there was nothing over the top and they all made sense. The book was well written and quite plausible and I actually really enjoyed it. Many thanks to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the complimentary ARC which I reviewed voluntarily and honestly.
A very atmospheric read with plenty of undertones of the supernatural and past secrets to be discovered and unfold.
I really enjoyed this book, the basis being a new mother with all that entails, hormones, exhaustion, vulnerability and the hope and promise of a new life. Her neighbour is an elderly lady who seems to have a mixed personality, often incredibly helpful and caring but occasionally a darker side which seems to manifest, backed up or caused by the deep,suspicion the rest of the village seem to have of her.
I loved the way the mysteries and characters were built up and all the way through I was as uncertain about what might be going on as the main character was, so I felt I was on the voyage of discovery with her.
I guessed the ending but it did not detract from the story as a whole and I was still left with a sense of mystery and slightly unsettled. A good read, would recommend.
I had not read anything by this author before but was drawn to the story. Whisper Cottage is a mystery story rather than a psychological thriller. It has ghosts, suspense, secrets, rumours and creepy goings on. I was intrigued to find out what was going on. The twist surprised me as I wasn't expecting it.
I recommend this book as a holiday read or for a cosy afternoon on the sofa with a cuppa.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
This was a quite enjoyable read , slightly spooky and tense . It was well written and compulsive reading . It didn’t go in the direction I thought it was going to go and I was slightly disappointed with the end , hence the 4 stars . I would like to read another from this author in the future though .
I can honestly say that I was intrigued with this book from beginning to end. Just when I would think I had things figured out, I would discover that I was wrong. I recommend this book for anyone that loves a good mystery. It will literally keep you guessing until the very last page!
This is one of those addictive thrillers that draws you in from the first page! Stina and Jack have just moved into a lovely rural area to get away from the crime-ridden city as Stina is about to give birth to their first child. Their elderly neighbor, Mrs. Barley seems to be a kind woman, always ready with treats and helpful hints, but there is gossip about her that is less than kind. So when Stina sees a man traipsing through her garden, she becomes suspicious and even more so when she begins to hear noises at night. What secrets are being kept and who is to blame for odd happenings? I enjoyed this as it's different than most thrillers
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 .
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
A cottage in the picturesque village of Avoncote promises a new life for Stina, her husband Jack and their expected new baby. Stina is a freelance author who will work from home while doing renovations to the old house. Jack is a veterinarian beginning a country practice. It looks perfect on the surface but as Stina and Jack will discover, things are not what they seem.
For instance, what is it about their elderly next-door neighbor Mrs. Barley that makes the townspeople avoid her? To Stina and Jack, she’s a kindly, lonely woman who plys them with delicious baked goods. To others, she’s a witch. Who is the strange man who visits her…the man that only Stina can see? Why are the two houses connected by a shared attic? There’s more, so much more.
Whisper Cottage, part mystery, part horror and all thriller, is impossible to put down. You don’t know who or what to believe. The plot quickly pulls you in and doesn't let go until the shocking and totally surprising conclusion. 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and Anne Wyn Clark for this ARC.
Oh my goodness - just loved it. I had no idea what to expect but it wasn't this. Not sure on the beginning but the ending was brilliant. Have just finished a session reading this book non-stop before I start dong anything today it was that good.
This was a very English book and the familiar locations was really interesting, haven't read a book set near Stratford for a while.
My mind went one way sometimes during the book but then found that was a red herring.
I was given an advance copy by netgalley and the publishers but the review is entirely my own.
A story hinting at mystic, spiritual and ghostly happenings with bizarre incidents that cause alarm and confusion. The lovely young couple who move in to their idyllic country cottage soon become concerned by the odd behaviour of their elderly neighbour, Mrs Barley. Shunned by the villagers, she was regarded as an oddball at best, a witch at worst. Like something from the middle ages, those that don’t understand someone will invent a scenario that fits their agenda. Stina and Jack find themselves warming to her as she shows them and their new baby daughter kindness. However, Stina, in particular sees things that upset and alarm her but she is reassured by the calm presence of Jack. The story develops and although there are devastating developments along the way, it doesn’t really instill fear into the reader. Maybe because I am of cynical nature and always look for a realistic reason behind unusual events, I found myself waiting for a sensible explanation. Eventually it came and while shocking did not have the impact I had hoped for.
Stina and Jack are so happy- she's pregnant, they've bought a cottage, and Jack is settling into his new job (he's a vet) in the village, And they have a good neighbor in Mrs. Barley, even if others call her a witch. Yes, she does do some odd things but she's kind, especially after Elodie is born. But what about her rituals? What about her husband Frank? What secrets does she harbor? And btw, Jack, who is a good guy has a small secret too. No spoilers from me. This one has creepiness but it never descends into horror (thank goodness). It may sag a bit in spots but it's still a good read. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. No spoilers from me.
This story really gave me an eerie feeling. Almost as if I were waiting for something awful to happen! Who was the ghostly apparition in the summerhouse? Was there something evil about the old lady in the village? So atmospheric and not just a little creepy. Think that’s why I loved it. Didn’t want to put it down.
I certainly didn’t expect what came at the ending. That was a real surprise and not what I’d imagined to be the truth at all!
Absolutely fabulous read. I even learned how to pronounce the word Samhain. Definitely one to take down on a dark eerie night, with something warm to drink and by a hot fire - just lock the doors….
Whisper Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark was a creepy and dark read. Jack and Stina move to a small village In the middle of nowhere to get a fresh start and raise their child. The little cottage they move into shares a wall with Mrs. Barley, an old lady. It looks like nobody in the village likes Mrs. Barley and a lot of people think she’s a witch. Weird things start happening at the house that they share and it makes Stina wonder if the villagers are correct. I don’t want to go to much more into the plot but this was such a weird and creepy little story. I really enjoyed the characters and how not everyone is as innocent as they seem. Definitely check this book out if you like mysteries in small villages and that have a dark feel to them. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. All opinions on my own.
Whispher Cottage by Anne Wyn Clark, was a some what enjoyable yet eerie novel.
I was completely drawn into this story and flew through the pages reluctant to put it down until the end.
Thank you to the Publisher and NetGalley for gifting me this review copy.
This book grabs you right at the beginning and doesn't let go. Strange and creepy it keeps you guessing right to the end. I loved. Looking forward to more by this author.
A very creepy story set in 2012 in a small village of Avoncote. Jack and Stina move into a small cottage in Avoncote. Jack has a job as a vet and Stina is pregnant. The cottage they live in is Wisteria Cottage. Another cottage attached to theirs is Rose Cottage.
Mrs Barley lives in Rose Cottage. Everything at Rose Cottage was perfect, a well kept garden and a lovely summer house. Mrs Barley is very friendly (sometimes too friendly) and always helpful.
One day Stina sees a man walking through the garden at Mrs Barley’s. Jack and Mrs Barley did not see him and suggested that Stina might have thought she saw someone. At night when Jack is sleeping Stina hears a man talking to Mrs Barley through the wall, another night Stina hears someone moving things around in the shared attic. Stina is starting to think she is losing her mind.
As time goes on Stina hears whispers from other people in the village that Mrs Barley is dangerous and has strange ways and likes to dabble in strange customs.
This was a very creepy story. Jack has secrets, Stina has secrets and Mrs Barley has secrets. It was about families, village life and secrets.
Stina and Jack are soon to be parents move into an old Wisteria cottage in the village of Avoncote. Stina's neighbour Mrs Barley, an old woman living on her own. Stina finds her a very friendly and kind woman who enjoys baking and often brings her some. Mrs Barley talks about her late husband, Mr Frank Barley, who she adores so much. However, Stina thinks Mrs Barley is such a nice old lady and doesn't understand why the villagers seem to hate her. Stina then begins to pay more attention to Mrs Barley and finds her a little odd at times.
On several occasions, Stina sees a strange man who looks like Mr Frank Barley at the cottage. Stina wants to believe everything Mrs Barley said to her, if Mr Frank Barley is already dead, who's the odd guy who looks like Mrs Barley's late husband? How much does Stina know about her neighbour Mrs Barley?
This is a little hard for me to review, I am not sure how I feel about it. I do enjoyed it but this is definitely not what I expect by judging the cover. This may be a little slow burn for me but the revelation at the end was quite good.
Thank you Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the advance digital copy in exchange for my honest review.
Soon to be parents Stina and Jack moved house looking to settle down in Avoncote village. They moved into an old semi detached house with an elderly neighbour living next door. Mrs. Barley is very pleasant and does everything she can to help her new neighbours. But as the story moves along, Mrs. Barley shows some odd behavior and soon Stina notices a stranger lurking around the house. No one else seems to believe that she has seen this stranger on multiple occasions. It is soon revealed that Mrs. Barley isn't well liked in the village and some believe her to be some sort of witch!
Noises from next door keep Stina awake at night time and she soon questions everything she knows about Mrs. Barley. What secrets could an old neighbour be hiding, and what secrets are Jack and Stina hiding?
This book was a very enjoyable read. I flew through it in a siting or two! This book is filled with suspense throughout. It's not quite edge of your seat nerve tingling suspense but definitely enough to keep the pages turning. I never really feared that something bad was going to happen to Stina and Jack.
Overall an enjoyable read that I would recommend! I gave this book 3.5 stars rounded up to 4.
Did you #HearTheWhispers?
How well do you know the woman next door?
Whisper Cottage is this author’s first attempt to delve into the murky waters of psychological suspense, and she succeeded in creating a novel that is mysterious, intriguing, and engrossing!
I was captivated by the old lady who lived next door. I couldn’t quite figure out what her story was or what her significance and place was in this novel, but I loved reading about her and her quirky behavior while trying to figure it all out. I found myself making guesses and presumptions throughout the entire book that were shot down and dismissed repeatedly. I was pleasantly surprised at how everything ended, the author cleverly tied everything together and added even more surprises that I did not see coming.
Haunting, eerie, and delightful. This would make an excellent movie that I would love to watch!
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!
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.)
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.
<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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.