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Whispers in the Alders Paperback – April 3, 2017
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
"...the language deployed is truly on very high levels, descriptive but never self-important, with the finest selection of words. It's evident that Callum has worked a lot on this aspect, and I think it has paid off, because there is a genuine authenticity about the text that transcends the word- and phrase level and reaches the sentence level." ---Lit Review Monthly
"Whispers in the Alders...is one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this year. H.A. Callum's novel redefines the concept of love and friendship...told in an engrossing first person narrative, the plot is swift, and the pacing is excellent. I couldn't put this one down." ---Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
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It's a tale of heartbreak and sorrow that will move you to tears more than once. It's a tale of two teenagers rejected by society and their families, thrust into the cold, bitter world of Alder Ferry and forced to cope with realities most adults couldn't handle. With a poet's spirit, Mr. Callum opens his heart to us in these pages, introducing us to Tommy and Aubrey and inviting us into their quiet, secret world inside of the Alders.
These trees become home for the next six years as the two become best friends for life. Together, they find love strong enough, it enables them to stand up to the wickedness of the town and the betrayal of those who should have been there to protect them. This story is about survival as much as love. Callum takes us completely out of our comfort zone and gives us a taste of what life is like on the dark side, when someone you care for deeply is persecuted and mistreated and you can do nothing but endure it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more, in the future, by this author. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It will stir memories in some and compassion in others, as it mirrors times both past and present, in this most human and real depiction of the lives of two teens growing up in small-town America.
From the beginning, the story swept me up and carried me along. I was entranced by H. A. Callum’s poetic descriptions. He used his words to paint vivid images for his reader. Unlike other novels, I didn’t feel bogged down in the description, rather I wanted to wade through the words and see this new world through Callum’s eyes.
“Tommy and I had always made the vow to break the mold and live our lives on our terms regardless of the cost. And that is what I did.”
By the fourth page, I had identified with Aubrey, the narrator of the story. This is a mark of how easily Callum draws you into his world. Throughout the rest of the book, I found myself in awe of Aubrey and the choices she faced. Aubrey made realistic decisions with realistic outcomes.
“Tommy went on, ‘But it just happens, right? All your life you dream of getting out and exploring the world, but then life just grabs you by the foot and pulls you back in.’”
Throughout the novel, Callum used dialogue to show his characters in unique ways and to make us fall in love with them. Since the book is narrated by Aubrey, many of the dialogues between Aubrey and Tommy are the only clues we get to Tommy’s worlds. The two aren’t able to talk as often as they’d like, but each interaction gives us a glimpse of the kind and tender heart of Tommy.
Personally, I would have loved more interactions between Aubrey and Tommy. A few scenes explained how they continued to talk to one another, and I wish Callum had expanded those scenes with more dialogue. I think it would have anchored their relationship for me.
As much as I can identify with the characters, I can also recognize Alder Ferry. It may very well be unique in its location and setting, but the town’s mindset is very much alive across the United States. Many readers will recognize the town mentality and shudder to think what or who is falling through the cracks at this moment in time in their own chunk of the world.
I will be recommending this novel to all my fellow readers, and I look forward to seeing what this talented author has in store for us in the future.
Like Aubrey, the trees in Alder Ferry called to me, and I soon made their acquaintance. That acquaintance grew into a deep love for the alders and for their keepers, Tommy and Aubrey. Falling in love with trees and fictional characters is a sure sign of an outstanding novel. Whispers in the Alders is a compelling piece of literature for many reasons. The beauty of the book lies within the love and loyalty of an unwavering friendship. The friendship between Tommy and Aubrey made me laugh, it made me cry, and above all, it continues to haunt me with the need for social change.
There is no short way to fully express the layers of intricacies weaved throughout this coming of age story. Those layers depict the hypocrisies and injustices of modern times. The story explores courage, convictions, and examines love at its purest form. In summary, Whispers in the Alders is in 2017 what To Kill a Mockingbird was in 1960, a great American novel that challenges societal comforts.
Most recent customer reviews
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