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Whale Song [Kindle Edition]

Cheryl Kaye Tardif
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

Regular list price: $2.99 US
  • International Bestseller
  • National Bestseller
  • Top 100 Bestseller
  • Award winner
Thirteen years ago, Sarah Richardson's life was shattered after the tragic death of her mother. The shocking event left a grief-stricken teen-aged Sarah with partial amnesia. 

Some things are easier to forget.

But now a familiar voice from her childhood sends Sarah, a talented mid-twenties ad exec, back to her past. A past that she had thought was long buried.

Some things are meant to be buried. 

Torn by nightmares and visions of a yellow-eyed wolf and aided by creatures of the Earth and killer whales that call to her in the night, Sarah must face her fears and recover her memories--even if it destroys her. 

Some things are meant to be remembered--at all cost. 

Set on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Whale Song is an inspiring novel that explores themes of racism, bullying, deception, tragedy, love and forgiveness. It's a novel that will change how you view life...and death. 

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Originally published in Canada in 2003 (but never distributed in the U.S.), this moving story features Sarah Richardson, whose family moves from the Montana countryside to Vancouver Island just as she's about to enter sixth grade. Sarah soon finds that island life suits her perfectly--thanks, especially, to her new best friend, Goldie, whose Native American heritage Sarah finds fascinating, especially the wisdom passed to the girls from Goldie's grandmother, Nana. Sarah is also intrigued to learn that her marine-biologist father shares a passion with her new Indian friends: killer whales, which the natives revere and her father studies. Life isn't all native spirituality, however, as Sarah must confront a family tragedy that will change her life forever. Though overly melodramatic in places, Tardif's story has that perennially crowd-pleasing combination of sweet and sad that so often propels popular commercial fiction, especially coming-of-age stories. Tardif, already a big hit in Canada, may soon be a name to reckon with south of the border. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Moving...perennially crowd-pleasing combination of sweet and sad...Tardif, already a big hit in Canada...a name to reckon with south of the border." BOOKLIST

"Whale Song is deep and true, a compelling story of love and family and the mysteries of the human heart. Cheryl Kaye Tardif has written a beautiful, haunting novel." ―New York Times Bestselling novelist Luanne Rice, author of Beach Girls

"I read Whale Song and loved it." ―Jodelle Ferland, actress (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Case 39)

"Cheryl Kaye Tardif's novel, Whale Song, would be a tough act to follow for any written genre." ―Fresh Fiction

"Tardif again leaves a lasting mark on her readers...Moving and irresistible." ―Midwest Book Review

"Whale Song is reminiscent of Ring of Endless Light by M. L'Engle, and Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd." ―Carol D. O'Dell, author of Mothering Mother

Product Details

  • File Size: 582 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Imajin Books; 2 edition (May 24, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003NX7LSA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #166,220 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 77 people found the following review helpful
The title of this book leaped out at me from its striking cover, but when I started reading, I was captivated by how meaningful the title was to this very moving story. Cheryl Kaye Tardif's words, scenes and characters flowed through the pages so smoothly I almost forgot I was reading. I felt as though I were in Canada with the characters.

This is a story about an eleven-year-old girl, Sarah Richardson, who moves with her family to Vancouver Island, Canada where her father, a biologist, has taken a new job studying killer whales. Sarah makes friends with a neighbor girl, Goldie Dixon, who is a Nootka Indian. Before Sarah moved there, a tragedy occurred in Goldie's family; it involved her older brother, and there is a mysterious tie-in to this novel's title through that occurrence.

Goldie's wise granddmother, Nana, steeped in Indian tradition, plays a major role in Sarah's life, and Goldie's entire family becomes friends with Sarah's family as the story unfolds. When Sarah's mother becomes ill, a boy who has a crush on Sarah gives her a lovely whale figurine which is another tie-in to the title.

What happened in Goldie's family before Sarah came to live there? How does Sarah lose her mother ... and then her father, in uniquely different ways? How does she reclaim them both uniquely different ways? And how does Sarah lose her memory? Why can't she remember the events of the most tragic day in her life? And just how does a whale figure into the plot? Do people who are drowned truly come back as whales, as the Nootkas believe?

That's a long list of questions, I know, but this author answers them with such dexterity, she'll leave you breathless.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical Voice May 19, 2007
Fresh in from Wyoming, Sarah is the new girl on Vancouver Island in Canada. Along the island's shores, Sarah finds a wonderful new way of life and unexpected friends. It soon looks that the rest of her childhood will be spent in an idyllic atmosphere.

Things slowly change as Sarah's mother succumbs to a devastating illness. Her life is shattered when her mother dies and father is accused of murder. Struck by the loss of a memory that could either help or irreparably harm her father, Sarah slides into a prolonged period of torment in which she resists a tribal chief's promise that a wolf will guide her to the truth of that horrible day her mother died.

Sarah has a chance to find peace and happiness, but the journey may be more than she can bear.

Author Cheryl Kaye Tardif offers a sometimes sentimental, sometimes shocking story about the effect of tragedy on a young life. The abrupt change from an ideal childhood to the aftermath of a frightening ordeal is a premise with a great deal of potential. Tardif explores some wonderful aspects here, but there could have been so much more. More than half of the book is spent in weaving the structure of Sarah's life on Vancouver Island. The meat of the story, Sarah's transformation from happy child to troubled teen and adult is skimmed over, a list of highlights from the years following her mother's death.

While the first half of the book is beautifully written, there is the feel of a major disconnect between it and the ending. The author tries to tie it in with hints dropped in the form of foreshadowing, but this technique is iffy at best.

All told, I have to give this novel an average rating. WHALE SONG has the soul of a great literary work, but the surface was only scraped.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touched my heart... August 12, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am thrilled to be introduced to Whale Song by Cheryl Kaye Tardif. This talented author has written a moving tale that touched my heart. From the opening page of the prologue, I was captivated.

Eleven year old Sarah Richardson has her world uprooted when her parents move from a ranch in Wyoming to Vancouver Island, Canada. Her father is a biology professor who has taken a job studying killer whales. Things are difficult for Sarah at first, but she is fortunate to meet Goldie Dixon, a neighbor of the same age who happens to be a Nootka Indian. Goldie's older brother drowned and her Indian tradition believes that he has come back as a whale and speaks to her. As Sarah faces a family tragedy, Goldie and her wise grandmother, Nana, will help Sarah navigate the rough road that lies ahead.

Whale Song is a powerfully moving story that had me in tears more than once (and I'm not usually an emotional reader). It's a tale of love and sacrifice, friendship and survival, and doing what is best for those you love--despite the cost. But what makes Whale Song sing is Tardif's beautiful writing. I picked it up one afternoon and couldn't put it down until I was finished.

Cheryl Kaye Tardif has written two other books, Divine Intervention and The River. I have definitely added them to my reading list.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An engrossing, powerful story March 18, 2008
Only child, star in her parent's crown, Sarah's fairytale life takes a startling and sad turn. Whale Song is beautifully written, and though not an action novel, it is a page turner. The novel is emotionally evocative (I shed tears for Sarah and her companions) but there are many, many heartwarming and encouraging aspects. You quickly become embroiled in the narrator's life, and Sarah's voice is so strong you could believe you are reading a true story. The characters are convincing, engaging and memorable. I found myself thinking about the novel and its "lessons" while driving to work, often in fact. The Native American mysticism was particularly well done and interesting.

The story begins when 11-year-old Sarah, her mother and father move from Wyoming to Vancouver--from the mountains to the sea. Her father is a marine biologist, her mother an artist. Sarah is devastated by the move but soon makes friends with a Native American girl named Goldie and is accepted by Goldie's family and her wise woman grandmother Nana but at school another Native American student teaches Sarah about discrimination and cruelty.

Whale Song follows Sarah as she matures--her tragedies and triumphs--to a satisfying end.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Shows the best of human nature and environmentalism
This is a wonderful book about love of family, a teenager coming of age, and a positive expression of environmental awareness and concern through scientific and Native... Read more
Published 19 days ago by Cheryl A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
At first I didn't know what to expect. But I kept reading and the book turned out to be really very good.
Published 19 days ago by Gina Thelmas
5.0 out of 5 stars so beautiful and heart wrenching!
This story pulls you in from the onset, it's written so well that you find yourself reading for hours yet feel like only a moment has passed. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Paola Cruzat
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Everlasting Read
This story completely captured me from beginning to end. Like a drowning victim who can’t catch their breath, the fast paced story of Sarah Richardson discovering who she is during... Read more
Published 23 days ago by Sarah Butland
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!!
I loved this book. I have been recommending this to everyone!! What a surprise ending! I had an inkling but was still surprised! Now I want to read everything by this author!
Published 24 days ago by Linda Mae Hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly Beautiful!
Usually my reviews are long, insightful, and delve into the strengths and weaknesses of writing, plot, and characterization. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Leslie
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This was a very good story. I was a little disappointed in its predictable outcome. I would like to visit Victoria
Published 1 month ago by ginger
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching tale.
I loved this book. I am 61 years old and this book took me to my young years when I experienced lose in my young life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by lynchmary3831
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Great Story
This is not a very long book, but what a wonderful powerful story. Be sure to have tissues near by you will need them. So glad I read this one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by I Am Retired
5.0 out of 5 stars Whale Song deals with two major issues, bullying and reverse racism...
This is a story that would appeal to anyone who reads it. I thoroughly enjoyed the story line and appreciated the character of Sarah who because of her realistic experiences takes... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Vijay Ellaurie
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More About the Author


Dear reader:

I'm an international bestselling Canadian author who loves to say, "I kill people off for a living!" You can imagine the looks I get from people. Sometimes I'll tell them, "Fictitiously, of course. I'm an author." Sometimes I won't say anything; I'll let them wonder...

Submerged, my latest novel, is a psychological suspense thriller with a hint of supernatural, and it promises to leave you breathless. But I am probably best known for Children of the Fog, a supernatural suspense thriller that has sold over 60,000 copies and made Amazon's Top 100 bestsellers list (#4 in overall list) multiple times out of nearly 2 million ebooks; and Whale Song, a much-loved, inspiring family tale with a hint of mystery, which is now available in its third edition--plus a school edition with a discussion guide.

Whale Song, an emotional mystery that explores controversial issues like assisted suicide, school bullies and racism, has captured the attention of numerous film companies. A screenplay, which I wrote with co-writer Alison Neuman, was completed in 2006, along with a movie treatment. I'm pursuing possible film deals for many of my books. And sometimes when I think of a movie deal, I smell buttered popcorn.

Booklist calls me "a big hit in Canada...a name to reckon with south of the border."

In September 2005, my gripping action-packed techno-thriller The River was released. This well-researched novel explores the mysterious Nahanni River area, nanotechnology and man's obsession with longevity. The River has been compared to works by Michael Crichton, James Patterson, Dean Koontz and Dan Brown.

I'm also the author of the 2004 "sizzling psychic suspense" Divine Intervention, a 'psi-fi' suspense thriller (or paranormal romance) that has been compared to works by authors such as Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper and Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb's 'In Death' series. Divine Justice, the second in the Divine mystery series, was also released in 2011.

In 2009, I branched off into romance with my debut romantic suspense Lancelot's Lady. Since romance is a different genre from my usual suspense/thrillers and YA, I wrote Lancelot's Lady under the pen name of Cherish D'Angelo. Lancelot's Lady was a semi-finalist in the Dorchester Publishing Next Best Celler contest hosted by Textnovel. It also won an Editor's Choice award from Textnovel in 2010.

A novelette of suspense titled Remote Control was released in ebook edition in July 2010; and a collection of stories titled Skeletons in the Closet & Other Creepy Stories in August 2010.

In 2006, I participated in a hilarious new TV series 'A Total Write-Off', hosted by comedian Barbara North. In 2004, I was nominated for the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award. In 2003, I wrote a public service announcement for a racial harmony campaign. My PSA script, One Voice ~ One World, placed third and was produced and aired on cable channels in Alberta.

I have not only held hundreds of book signings, I have also organized multi-author signings, held virtual book tours and other online events, and I've taught others how to promote their books. My book How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks is the #1 Marketing book specifically designed for Amazon's KDP Select program.

I've been interviewed by numerous TV and radio stations in Canada and the US, and I've been featured in a variety of newspapers and magazines in both countries.

I'm also the publisher at Imajin Books, a venture that is dear to my heart. Imajin Books publishes quality international fiction at affordable prices, with a focus on ebooks.

Born in Vancouver, BC, I was a "military brat" and a "military wife" who has lived all across Canada and in Bermuda. I now reside in Edmonton, AB, with my husband Marc and our Pomeranian Princess, Chai.

AGENT information:
Erica Spellman-Silverman
Trident Media Group
41 Madison Avenue, Floor 36
New York, NY 10010

Ph: 212-333-1506

Cheryl's links:

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Dr. Death aka Jack Kevorkian will soon be out on parole
who are we to judge him. Who are we to say that someone doesn't have the right, their own personal right to ask him for assistance in leaving this world. we legally kill people in combat over land, oil and insignificant political strife, so who are we to judge.
May 9, 2008 by EliteLamo |  See all 3 posts
Whale Song deals with being bullied. Were you ever bullied as a child?
I was picked on when I was younger. I took it out on myself. I didn't have many friends when I was that age. I stuck to myself.
Feb 22, 2013 by Ashleigh |  See all 2 posts
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