Whisper to Me – Nick Lake

Whisper to MeWithdrawn, awkward, and lonely Cassie’s life rapidly tumbles into darkness.  She hears a voice punishing her, criticizing her, controlling her.  She thinks finding a human foot on the beach triggered the voice.  The small beach community has suffered a series of unsolved murders, all young women, and at first Cassie thinks the voice belongs to the murdered woman that had been dumped into the ocean.

Raised by a former Navy SEAL who is dealing with both PTSD and the loss of his wife and is occupied with running the family restaurant, Cassie is left on her own quite often.  Finally, her father zeroes in on the odd behavior and sends her to a mental illness institution.  While the medications control the voice, it leaves her brain sluggish and thick with fog.  She learns of an alternative treatment and begins to control the voice.

Cassie’s story is told in a long email that she sends to the boy she met that summer.  She explains her behavior and why she broke his heart.  I am a huge Nick Lake fan and this book does not disappoint.  The subject matter – mental illness – makes this a difficult story to read.  Not that this is a challenging book, but the author so vividly portrays schizophrenia, it is empathizing with this character that makes this story emotionally challenging to read.  The only bit that didn’t quite come together for me – Cassie and her new boyfriend didn’t seem to have much interaction to warrant a close connection.  But that relationship is a part of the story mechanism.  This novel is better suited for the older teen.  Whisper to Me is a brilliant read.  Highly recommend.

eGalley review                              Publication date 5.3.16

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