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In the Company of Whispers Hardcover – September, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—In 1958, eight-year-old Lowenstein and her family went to live in Burma, encountering a culture both alien and alluring. This book weaves her memories, family letters, and black-and-white photographs into an intriguing mix of memoir, science-fiction dystopia, and love story set in 2047. In the overpopulated Greater East Coast Metropolis, people regularly disappear into Quarantine, never to be seen again. After her parents are taken, 16-year-old Zeyya moves in with an elderly grandmother, who also takes in Jonah, a homeless, possibly mentally ill, certainly alien, stranger. Over time, Zeyya falls in love with the man who claims that his blue tattoos allow him to access the memories of his ancestors. She also becomes increasingly absorbed by her grandmother's memories of her childhood in 1950s Burma. The perspective of expatriate Americans in Burma's brief democracy is presented in documents that serve as chapter dividers (as do Granna's memories) and makes a splendid warp for the weft of the story line. Readers familiar with Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993) will recognize some elements, especially the end, but this is an original, unusual tale that may interest adults with expatriate experience as well as teens looking for a quiet love story.—Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Stone Books; First Edition edition (September 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0965848671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0965848671
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,663,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
School Library Journal 7/1/08
Gr 9 Up--In 1958, eight-year-old Lowenstein and her family went to live in Burma, encountering a culture both alien and alluring. This book weaves her memories, family letters, and black-and-white photographs into an intriguing mix of memoir, science-fiction dystopia, and love story set in 2047. In the overpopulated Greater East Coast Metropolis, people regularly disappear into Quarantine, never to be seen again. After her parents are taken, 16-year-old Zeyya moves in with an elderly grandmother, who also takes in Jonah, a homeless, possibly mentally ill, certainly alien, stranger. Over time, Zeyya falls in love with the man who claims that his blue tattoos allow him to access the memories of his ancestors. She also becomes increasingly absorbed by her grandmother's memories of her childhood in 1950s Burma. The perspective of expatriate Americans in Burma's brief democracy is presented in documents that serve as chapter dividers (as do Granna's memories) and makes a splendid warp for the weft of the story line. Readers familiar with Lois Lowry's The Giver (Houghton, 1993) will recognize some elements, especially the end, but this is an original, unusual tale that may interest adults with expatriate experience as well as teens looking for a quiet love story.--Kathleen Isaacs, Towson University, MD
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Format: Hardcover
A strange blend of genres turns out an enjoyable cocktail. "In the Company of Whispers" draws upon the experience of Salle Lowenstein's travels in Burma, as she speaks of a family split by generations reflecting on their home and how it all binds them together, while a grandmother spreads her wisdom to her grandchildren bridging the gap between 1957 and 2047. "In the Company of Whispers" is a heartwarming tale of ancestry's bonds, highly recommended for community library fiction collections.
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