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3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,021 ratings  ·  60 reviews
It can happen in the best of families--even the Fergusons. When Lynn and Robert first meet, she's bright, fresh-faced twenty-year old; he's handsome, a bit older, a charming young executive on the fast track. From the start they fall deeply in love, thrilled by the discovery of their mutual desire. But as early as their honeymoon the gold begins to tarnish, when Robert's a ...more
Hardcover, 331 pages
Published April 1st 1993 by Delacorte Press (first published 1993)
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Let me be very very clear about this. I HATED this stupid book. It is about a stupid woman named Lynn who is so spineless it is a wonder she can move at all. She is married to a monster named Robert who needs a big kick in the teeth and the idiot has two daughters that she exposes to this horrible life which she is in denial about. Robert is a pompous ass who physically and emotionally abuses Lynn quite frequently. This stupid Lynn then lets him emotionally abuse her youngest daughter which is w ...more
Cindy Grossi
More like a 3.5. I have had this book in my TBR basket for over a year and kept bypassing it because I thought it was going to be scary, but not so. What I found was a story that swept me along because I had to make sure it ended like I felt it should. Not all was predictable. At one time, I sat the book down and was saying, "I didn't expect that.". Reminds me of Nora Roberts' books, but with a little more credit to the intelligence of the reader. Nice summertime pool book.
Apr 01, 2009 Diana rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: yes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2014 Lori added it
It's awful. Serious subjects like domestic violence needed to be handled gently, realistically, and even though it's common for women who are abused by their husbands to be blamed for it, there should still be some amount of sympathy for the main character, of which, by virtue of the bad writing, I had none. I can't even finish it because a part of me is thinking if Robert ends up killing her I don't care because nothing about her was developed enough for me to have the slightest amount of sympa ...more
Good read, the story resolves around a married couple and the issue of physical abuse of the wife. The physical abuse is intermittent but the author succeeds in giving us a feel of the walking on egg shells it is to live with someone who can go off at any time, which is abuse too. The consequences are well layed out. It is a hefty book over 400 pages but it didn't feel long. What irritated me in this story though was the romantic notion/belief that till death do us part that Lynn, the wife had a ...more
Judy Strong
Any book about domestic abuse is sobering and frustrating. This story is told with clarity, reminding us of all the reasons why we should pay special attention to one another, and pursue our intuitions if we suspect abuse. I'm of the mind that everyone knows a battered wife. You just don't know that you know.
Sep 25, 2013 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
Robert and Lynn Ferguson are the quintessentially picture-perfect couple with two beautiful daughters and a lovely home in an exclusive Connecticut community. Robert is on the fast track of a major corporation. Lynn is devoted to her family and doing good works. But the Fergusons' ultimate American dream hides a dark painful secret - one that Lynn vows to keep hidden from the world - and her children - at any cost.

When Lynn and Robert first meet, she's a bright, fresh-faced twenty-year-old; he's
A real tearjerker, which I hated and loved at the same time. The story was fantastic, but I hated the ugliness, but loved the beauty that was born out of the ugly towards the end.

Robert made me so sick that I wasn't very sure that I could finish the novel, and in her own way, Lynn made me just as sick. Surely I hated Robert the most, because of how he was, but the anger I felt in my heart towards Lynn was painful.

How could she let Robert treat Annie the way she did? How could she just stand ther
There's none so blind as those who would not see. People like Lynn irritate the life out of me. Even I want to say "Stupid b*tch!" Robert is a sociopath. And Lynn is a self-imposed, blind ingenue. The children are more mature than either of the parents. And what they are doing to them is actually child abuse. Of course, it will all end badly. How could it not? Just waiting to see exactly. Until then, take lessons people.
Weak Weak Weak!! Lies Lies Lies!! The biggest lies are the ones we tell our
The main character, Lynne, just made me mad! She was not at all interesting and yet everyone was in love with her. The ending was predictable and the character development was very weak. I felt no connection to anyone in the book. I usually like Belva Plain, but to be fair I haven't read anything she has written in years. Just not my cup of tea!

This all about the ups and down of a person battered but in denial. It makes you appreciate all your true friends and wonder if you are putting yourself as a priority or a doormat. I really liked how it showed true rational on why she stayed and courage to do what needed to be done. Well written good momentum.
I seem to have lost my review - hmmm. This is one of my favorite authors, and I enjoyed this book, although it was difficult to read at times as it is about a battered wife. I have witnessed this and wondered why women stay with abusive men. There are as many reasons as there are couples. Well written and heartbreaking.
Domestic abuse happens more often than we want to admit. It’s hard to see someone you love in this situation and even harder when that person does not want to accept that they are being abused. As a friend or family member you can provide all the support and advice in the world but unless the person being abused decides to do something about it nothing will change. I like the way the story was carried out, it was easy to read and follow. By expressing the point of view of all of the characters y ...more
This book is really interesting- again a fabulous easy read by Plain w really engaging characters and relationship dynamics....You get an intimate glimpse into the private life of a seemingly perfect family- a family who seem to have it all and be envied by others for their good fortune, and success...but inside the family things are not what they seem on the exterior...this seemingly perfect family is far far from perfect....lots family secrets and conclusion this book has a realis ...more
This is a good book covering a difficult subject.

Back Cover Blurb:
A dream house, a successful husband, two beautiful children, glamorous country club parties: Lynn Ferguson seems to have it all. Only her closest friend Josie can see below the surface.
Robert Ferguson - somehow too ambitious and correct. The children - beocming increasingly difficult.
And, most worrying of all, the tell-tale marks that have begun to mar Lynn's lovely face....
Belva Plain's novel, written with extraordinary understa
Crystal Saario
I loved this book. It was so familiar the story line I grew up around that
Britt Holewinski
So, I read this book back when I was in high school, and it haunted me. The idea of domestic violence was so foreign to me, coming from a supportive, loving family that when I read this, however, I definitely felt that I was looking into a social problem that I'd never imagined existed (I guess I was pretty sheltered!)

Belva Plain does a wonderful job of portraying a family in crisis and how slow but relentless acts of emotional and physical abuse can reach a point of no return.

A really terrific
I read this many years ago. Enjoyed it then and now too.
Kind of sappy. Not very exciting. A nice story for a little old lady.
This book was rather spoilt for me by a review which gave away the slightly surprising ending. However I thought it dealt well with the subject of abusive marriages and why people remain trapped in them. It is well written and the characters, particularly Lynn, the abused wife, are well drawn. I do however think it was a bit long and was beginning to skim read towards the end. Possibly that was because I already knew it!
You're like a fly on the wall.
You get to secretly see what really goes on behind closed doors.
And you're amazed the lengths people go to cover up the abuse.
Friends and colleagues think they're such a charmed couple living the perfect life.

At first I felt sorry for her. . . then angry that she put up it.
But I then began to understand how she was stuck/trapped in the marriage.
She had to wait for the right time to make her move. . . she had to build up her confidence and strength and I cheered her
Joan Burgett
"Whispers" was a hard book to read. It's about a family that to all outward appearances "have it all" EXCEPT for their secrets. The handsome, upwardly mobile husband is a batterer. His wife tries to hide it for years from her children and always blames herself for her "accidents" ... as does he. It all comes to a head through some wrenching experiences. But it does end "well" ... or at least as well as it could. You never know what goes on behind closed doors.
Pat Price
This was an all right book. I remembered Belva Plain from reading Evergreen many years ago, so I tried this one. It's not one I'd pick up to read again, but it was OK. It was about a privileged couple, including a high powered, well respected business man who just happened to hit his wife every now and again. It explored family dynamics and community reactions as people "whispered" about the truth.
I always like the way Belva Plain writes her novels. She always makes the characters very real, like they could be someone you know. This story is no different: the life of a physically abused woman. We see how this woman grew up, how she got involved, and what happens in the relationship. We see how it affects her family & friends. A great look-see into a life people don't want to see.
Sandy Long
Again I found this book in our church library and the other women were telling me what a great author she is, so I took it home to read and was done by the next day. It was really a riveting book and I loved this book. I just went to the library and took out two more books by this author I hope I am not disappointed.
Will Lynn and Robert's seemingly perfect marriage withstand the cracks and the whispers? I started out vaguely annoyed with the stereotypical abused, martyr-like wife and the husband with anger issues. But, I have to admit the author managed to keep me reading , and her gentle, insightful prose turned out to be a decent read.
 Chrystal-Clear (aka trouble4u)
this was also my first time reading a Belva Plain book and first i was not sure of it, being that it was not the kind of book that i would normally read, but as it turned out that the more i read the more it was harder to put the book down. I will look for others to read.
Book club - domestic violence awareness month
Lynn and Robert have the perfect marriage. Except that someimes he gets so angry he hits her. 20 years and 400 pages, and I was afraid she would never leave. But she does - happy ending!
reading the first few pages I thought it would've been a romance novel, which I really dont like, but going on , I got engrossed with the characters, they seem so real......I love it and would read it again in my retirement.
Diane Olney
This book made me SO MAD! It was very well written. It made me mad to know that there are so many women who let men get away with horrendous things! But the end is great!
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Belva Plain was a best-selling American author of mainstream women's fiction. Her first novel, Evergreen (1978) topped the New York Times bestseller list for 41 weeks and was made into a TV miniseries. At her death, there were over 30 million copies of her twenty-plus novels in print in 22 languages.

More about Belva Plain...
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