Whisper Network

A biting and timely look at what it means to be a working woman in a man’s world, and what can change when you stop whispering and start believing that you matter more than they’ve allowed.

We had long seen the problem at the heart of it all:
being a woman at work was a handicap that we’d been trying to make up for by erasing our femininity in just the right ways.

— Chandler Baker

Synopsis:

Four women realize that their boss is in line to become the next CEO. What will they do with the knowledge they have about his behavior, and the whispers they’ve been hearing? Their actions spark a massive shift in the company that changes their lives forever.

For our children, we chased the gold standard of suburban contentment set by our own stay-at-home mothers, while simultaneously stepping into the shoes of our breadwinning fathers.

— Chandler Baker

Review:

Whisper Network is written like a woman lives – polished and refined at first glance…and you might not realize until later just how equally powerful and smart. This workforce mystery deals in the taboo topics of the #MeToo movement, women’s issues, workplace equality and advancement, parenting struggles, and others. It’s hard-hitting and scathing, and I absolutely loved it.

Chandler Baker didn’t write a story of perfect women being harassed and maligned in a nonchalant way in a perfect office. What she wrote is more honest and brutal and unflinching. I mean, I was flinching and cringing and uncomfortable – but that’s the point!!! We can’t wrap these issues of sexism, harassment, entitlement, and equality into a nice little package. They aren’t pretty and they aren’t easy to deal with. All of the characters are flawed. Some are downright annoying or reprehensible. But all deserve to be listened to and believed.

I LOVED how each chapter opened with “we” statements of collective secrets that I would think every woman knows. It’s like she’s whispering reminders to each of us, as readers, as women, as wives, as mothersdaughterssistersfriendscolleagues, to LISTEN! REMEMBER what this feels like! This is NOT ok. And then, just as delicately, the whisper fades back into the narrative of the story. It’s so intelligently done.

We started to wonder: By whispering, whose secrets were we keeping anyway – ours or theirs? Whose interests did our silence ultimately protect?

— Chandler Baker

By the last page, I’ll admit, I was in tears. Tears of shame, of rage, of fatigue, and of catharsis. This book gets it. It knows the dirty and dark secrets of the workforce dynamics – not all, but many. It knows the exhausting struggles of being a wife and mother AND also working – because they’ve told us we can DO IT ALL! It knows the feelings of powerlessness and confusion, of irritation and anger, of companionship and isolation.

I feel like I could go on for longer than you’d want to read. But enough of my words. Go read Chandler Baker’s. Encourage men to read it. Read…and Listen.

Whisper Network
by Chandler Baker
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 2nd 2019 by Flatiron Books

Summary

This book gets it. A biting and timely look at what it means to be a working woman in a man's world, and what can change when you stop whispering and start believing that you matter more than they've allowed.

— Cassie
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