Thursday 6 September 2018

BLOG TOUR: Only in Whispers - Jacqueline Grima

A forgotten past

An uncertain future

A family hiding from the truth

When their mother is hospitalised with depression, Annie and her brother Matthew are fostered by their beloved Aunt Helen. Their family eventually reunited, the siblings begin a new life in Derbyshire with their mother and new stepfather.

Now in her thirties and separated from her husband, Annie is struggling to escape the past and move forward with her son. Haunted by memories of her childhood, she begins to realise that there may have been more to her time in foster care than her mother claims. Why did social services take her and Matthew away? Who can she trust to tell her what really happened?

As Annie finds out more, things take a sinister turn…has the life she’s lived so far been a lie?

What did I think?

Now this is what I call a family drama.  Not only does Annie have to contend with the separation from her husband but she is haunted by a past that she can't explain and her family seem loathe to discuss it.  Annie is such a likeable character that I felt immediately intrigued and keen to find out more.

I don't envy Annie's situation one bit.  She is separated from her husband, David, yet lives in a house that he owns; the fact that it is an old police house was not lost on me as it definitely felt that Annie was being imprisoned by David - he even has a key and comes and goes as he pleases.  It felt quite claustrophobic when the police house was described so eloquently by Jacqueline Grima and I felt more than a little creeped out at the thought of David pouring himself into the foundations.  He is obviously a very controlling man and Annie needs to cut those bonds that tie her to him.

I love how Annie is so close to her younger brother, Matthew.  The pair had a difficult childhood when social services took them away from their mother and they went to live with their Aunt Helen.  Annie remembers visiting her mother in hospital just after Matthew was born and her mother being there but not there, clearly suffering from post natal depression.  What Annie doesn't know is how and why social services got involved and why she feel so disturbed at remembering the old concrete stairs outside their family flat.  With Matthew and his wife expecting their first baby, some of Annie's memories come back - but will her mother ever tell her the truth?

Only in Whispers is so intriguing that I raced through the pages.  I loved the fact that Annie had to deal with her controlling husband, David, whilst struggling to grasp at wispy memories of the past.  The way that the memories came back to her were described so vividly that they could have almost been my own memories; I was so emotionally invested in Annie's story that I read the final few pages with a lump in my throat.  Only in Whispers is an outstanding debut, full of dark family secrets and surprising heartfelt emotion.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Jacqueline Grima has recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. Her creative work has appeared in a variety of publications and, in 2014, she was shortlisted for the Luke Bitmead Bursary Award. Only in Whispers is her first novel. 

Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @GrimaJgrima and read her blog at

Follow the tour:

No comments:

Post a Comment