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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  1,469 Ratings  ·  90 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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Judie Dooley
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story of a woman who had everything. A nice home, beautiful children-good friends and a hard working husband. But she had one secret that c.lose friends began to suspect......
Sep 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
Apr 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: yes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Set over decades, this tells the tale of domestic violence in one upper middle class American family. Lynn is desperately in love with Robert when the story starts, the secretary in love with and flattered by attention from the boss, and so their story begins. The back story of Robert unfolds in pieces, and Lynn grows in confidence with the help of her friends. It is well written. I was surprised by the writing as the cover misled me to think the book would be more of a light romance. I have not ...more
Britt Holewinski
May 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Cindy Grossi
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Judy Strong
Jun 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Randy Nelson
Whispers and Betrayal

A very deep, sad, but well written book. The plot, spousal abuse, so common in society today is carefully written about here. Good writer but don't recommend book because it is really only about a woman who rises above the abuse, thus had to force myself to continue to the end of the book.
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: w-read-2017
Another upper middle class spousal abuse story.....storyline seemed to drag compared to others I've read by this author. Examines effect of abuse on bystanders....the child, friends, work colleagues.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a beautifully crafted story that gave perspective from both the abused and the abuser. I also love how the story kept you guessing as to how things would turn out because Ms. Plain included human emotion in the decisions made by the characters.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Better than I expected!
Michelle Chenard
Jan 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was a contrived book about spousal abuse.
Rhonda Soukup
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I kept waiting for the woman in this book to get a backbone! This was a frustrating tale of a woman who was physically/mentally abused by her husband. Not only did this woman put up with this behavior (which wasn't all the time but often enough) but she let her husband verbally abuse their children.
Lorrane Gloriya
Feb 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janita Finley
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read this book twice, once a very very long time ago, and then just recently last year.....It is such a good story line, and makes you wonder how often this happens and if you know anyone that this is happening to right now.....It goes to show you that even with the best that money can buy, it can't buy happiness and peace of mind......I felt so bad for the girls and of course the wife. I am right now reading another book called Behind Closed Doors, that kind of reminds me of Whispers, bo ...more
Diana Noe smith
Mar 12, 2017 marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is far too common a story as far as the first part goes, a man abusing his wife and pretending he is not doing it, telling her she fell, or that it was her fault making him angry. Most societies unfortunately go with the lie or help actively to perpetrate it - partly because the man has the power physically and financially in most cases, partly because the woman has the need and responsibility not only about the children but also for love itself, partly because most societies treat young wome ...more
Oct 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Dec 31, 2014 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
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ironically, I was 13 years old and swiped this book from my mom's nightstand when I first read this particular Belva Plain. I would read it a couple more times after that, but many scenes from the book still stand out in my mind. While I am sure we can all name books that have handled the issue of domestic abuse much better since 1994,"Whispers" was a pretty shocking and blunt read for its time period. I thought what Belva Plain did so well was exposing that Robert's abuse of Lynn was both physi ...more
Oct 30, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Sep 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!
Feb 03, 2008 rated it liked it
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
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked 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
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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.
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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.

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