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Whispers in the Alders

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Alder Ferry would have been just another nondescript suburb living in the shadow of its urban parent if not for one detail: the mysterious stand of alder trees anchoring the town to its past and standing as a reminder to the wilderness that once stood in its place.

In the shadows of the alders a boy named Tommy found refuge. There, an eclectic book collection was his only c
Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published May 26th 2017 by Blue Deco Publishing
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4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  32 ratings  ·  29 reviews

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Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"We came from different worlds, but here we were misery enjoying company. Our common suffering at home was the bridge that gapped the social distance between us. In the end, we were both two misbegotten children thrown to parents who could have cared less about us, except for the fact that we had had the audacity to circumvent the plans they imagined for their lives."

Are you kidding me? Who writes like that?

This book is To Kill a Mockingbird for a new generation.
Yep. I said it.
There's only one d
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So beautifully written.
Leigh Holland
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Whispers In The Alders by H. A. Callum, Kindle Edition, May 26th 2017, Genre: Coming of Age, LGBT Fiction. Warning: May Contain Spoilers. Note: I received an ARC copy in exchange for my honest review.
    Whispers In The Alders is an emotionally evocative coming of age tale. H. A. Callum has proven himself to be a powerful storyteller. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading this book. As the story progressed, I began forming expectations, yet those were dashed as the unexpected occur
D. M. Newlun
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The drifts formed and moved like waves animated in clay, seeming to have a purpose to the shapes they took and the directions they wandered.”

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
C.M. Turner
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“He looked up at me, and from behind his coy smile, he said, ‘My name’s Tommy.’ And that was where we started.”

Thus begins the story of Tommy and Aubrey, two discarded and lonely teenagers trapped in the unforgiving town of Alder Ferry. There, they face the insurmountable odds of a town filled with embittered, cold-blooded citizens, who mirror the same antiquated, outdated attitudes as the institutions that failed to protect them.

Alder Ferry is a town not unlike others in the northeast. With the
C.M. Blackwood
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To put it simply, this is the best coming-of-age story I have ever read.

Let’s begin with style. It’s more than obvious that the author is also a poet; his exposition is intricate and sublime. I was talking about this book with a friend just after reading it, and thereby came up with a good comparison. Callum’s prose is reminiscent of Edith Wharton’s: full of the pain and tragedy of human existence, but rendered with an innate appreciation for the individual beauties offered by a broken world.

Jennifer Jacobus-Hartman
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"I looked into the trees then at the catkins bisecting my palm. I knew what I had to do. The trees were calling. Soon they would make my acquaintance."

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 reaso
Roxie Prince
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Read this review and more on my blog at [Roxie Writes].

'Whispers in the Alders' by H.A. Callum
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5/5
Finished on May 7, 2017
$2.99 on Kindle | $14.99 in Paperback

(I typically like to try and write my own descriptions for the books I review, but this book's synopsis is so beautifully written, that I had to include it here. I think it perfectly sets you up for the way this book is written and the journey it is going to take you on.)

May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
When Aubrey Worthington and her parents first moved into the small town of Alder Ferry, she had few expectations other than it would be miserable. But soon she means Tommy, a young mistreated boy who will become her best friend. The two of them grow up, supporting each other through the trials and tragedies that befall them, all the while dreaming of getting out of Alder Ferry.

I could stop this review after a single sentence.

I am awed by Whispers in the Alders.

The quality of the language and ima
Terry Tyler
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received an review copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

This book was submitted to Rosie Amber's Book Review Team, of which I am a member. Interestingly, I didn't initially choose it as the genre and blurb didn't particularly appeal, but then I got talking to the author on Twitter (about something else entirely) and he asked me if I would take a review copy. I'm glad I did.

Whispers in the Alders is set in the small east US town of Alder Ferry, where young teenagers Aubrey (fe
Happy Booker
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Whispers in the Alders is an outstanding book written about a girl named Aubrey Worthington. Her parents move to this backdated, evil town called, Alders and that is where she meets a boy named Tommy. The story is told in the first person narrative and it does not take long to realize how badly both are suffering, individually.

Tommy and Aubrey become best friends. Aubrey realizes how mistreated this poor boy is. Tommy writes poems and shares some with Aubrey. He also is discriminated and abused
E.L. Lindley
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Whispers in the Alders by W. A. Callum is an American based coming of age story. It is a thought provoking, lyrical novel that is permeated with an air of tragedy.

The novel is written in first person narrative from the point of view of Aubrey Worthington, the only child of an affluent couple. Due to the peripatetic nature of her father’s job, Aubrey has spent her life moving around the country which has made it hard for her to fit in. She’s a lonely, introspective girl until her arrival at Alde
L. S.
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm having such a crisis trying to figure out where to begin with Whispers in the Alders.

It went from 0 to 60 in no time flat.

Aubrey Worthington, daughter of a company bigwig, spends life moving from place to place. Until Alder Ferry. There she meets a young boy named Tommy, and initiates an unlikely friendship. Not an easy one, either. And I will tell you right now that it does not go where you think it goes.

Okay, tone. Let me start with the narrator's (Aubrey) voice. In the beginning, it's fu
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This was a beautifully tragic book. This was a love story between Aubrey and Anton, Bree and Tommy. This was a coming of age story but so much more. Please do not put it aside thinking that is all it is. Mr. Callum loved each and everyone of his characters, the good the bad and the ugly, and presented them to the reader to embrace. The story was so well laid out that the reader can almost imagine the author ending his writing day feeling a bit bittersweet as his story and characters grew. He hel ...more
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I honestly had no clue what I was going into with this story but I'm really glad I chose t review it because this was amazing. Heartbreaking in so many ways... and heart wrenchingly beautiful in so many other ways.. This is about 2 teens so i believe it is YA.. but the things they go through are so very adult and so sad in some ways and so happy in others.. I loved watching these two grow up together.. be who they needed to be together.. love.. learn.. sadness and happiness.. all of it.. and the ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arc
Aubrey has moved from town to town her whole life. Her father has the job that no one wants: he’s the guy who swoops in to run a company when it’s on its last legs, the guy who mercilessly cuts payroll by half in order to salvage what’s left. As a result, he’s usually hated by most of the town—and, by extension, so is Aubrey.

When Aubrey moves to Alder Ferry, she expects more of the same. While out exploring the forest behind her new home one day, though, she meets Tommy, a quiet local boy who sh
Bibiana Krall
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To delve into the world of Tommy and Aubrey was such a great honor. Friendship like theirs is priceless, beautiful and rarely understood by the rest of us.

The constraints of family life etched within each framework, Tommy and Aubrey’s respectively, became an echo chamber carrying forth much darker material, and propelling bittersweet memory behind it.

The writing is timeless, classic and lean. The narrative is precise in its invocation of memory, time and place. More than once, I wept for innoc
Lit Review
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
[...]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.
Ultimately, I think the book owes a lot to this latter aspect, which manages to camouflage any weaknesses well. More experienced readers will discov
Angel Strong
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing


Spellbinding and impeccably written!

Whispers in the Alders is a captivating, remarkably written story, that will undoubtedly some day become a classic. I loved the emotion the author made me feel. At times I found myself hard pressed not to cry as I read. I wont give away the plot, however I will say that Tommy's life was a hard one. A life filled with intense pain and struggle. Again, I greatly admired the authors poetic style of writing, which elevated the imagery and deepened the emoti
Jennifer Gaarder
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read my reviews at

Whispers in the Alders
Brown Posey Press, September 21, 2018

310 Pages, Kindle Edition

Adult Fiction

"Alder Ferry would have been just another nondescript suburb living in the shadow of its urban parent if not for one detail: the mysterious stand of alder trees anchoring the town to its past and standing as a reminder to the wilderness that once stood in its place.

In the shadows of the alders, a boy named Tommy found refuge. There, an eclectic book co
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have delayed writing a review of this book thinking I might change my mind, that I may have misunderstood the author’s intention, but upon reflection I can’t dispel the opinion that this was one of the most tragic books I have ever read. The story is narrated by thirteen year old Aubrey Worthington, an only child in an extremely dysfunctional family. She can find no positives in her life and being alone with either of her parents is intolerable. She perceives herself as the daughter of the mos ...more
Don Swaim
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Catkins are the flowering, downy spikes dangling from trees such as alders, and are the symbolism throughout H. A. Callum's novel Whispers in the Alders. The catkin device serves to underscore the growing affection between two alienated teenagers, Aubrey and Tommy, both of whom, for different reasons, are outcasts in the decaying community of Alder Ferry, where Tommy takes refuge in a small cave within a grove of Alders. Tommy's story, as narrated by Aubrey, is particularly perilous, as, abandon ...more
Amy Shannon
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An unforgettable read

I was thoroughly engaged in this book. It's one of those stories I won't soon forget. The writing was wonderful and the prose was indeed something that led to the story. It was a perfect pace for the story, and the characters were filled with chemistry. The story was made perfectly by the POV of the story. It would've been different in another POV. This is the first book I've read of Callum's and I hope it won't be the last.
cenbookfairy_Tylwyth Teg y Llyfr.
Great book - well written. Story is based around 2 characters. Not a bad book all round. Thank you to both NetGalley and Sunbury Press Inc for giving me the opportunity to read Whispers in the Alders in exchange for my honest unbiased review.
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written coming of age story about a love that transcends romance, saving the lives of two lonely children in a small town plagued with hate and secrets. This story will break your heart, but stick with you forever.
CloudOfThoughts_Books Keirstin
Whispers in the Alders by author H A Callum is a great book. The two main characters are well developed as well as the plot.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of Whispers in the Alders in exchange for honest opinions.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully-written novel by a very talented writer.
The story centres on the relationship between Aubrey and Tommy – both living in the small town of Alder Ferry and both trying to survive adolescence.
Aubrey is wealthy, but her privilege doesn’t bring her happiness. She is taken from pillar to post by her cold, uninterested and self-centred parents. Her father is responsible for takeovers of local firms, resulting in the dismissal of the employees, something that makes it incredibly di
Maryka Biaggio
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartfelt tale of two young people who, against all odds, find a sense of belonging.
Jo-Ann Breitstein
rated it really liked it
Oct 26, 2018
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2019
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