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WHISPER FALLS by Elizabeth Langston — A Review

November 8, 2013

Whisper Falls Graphic copy

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Book Description

While training for a mountain bike race, high-school senior Mark Lewis spots a mysterious girl dressed in odd clothing, standing behind a waterfall in the woods near his North Carolina home. When she comments on the strange machine that he rides, he suspects something isn’t right. When Susanna claims to be an indentured servant from 1796, he wonders if she’s crazy. Yet he feels compelled to find out more.

Mark enters a ‘long-distance’ relationship with Susanna through the shimmering–and temperamental–barrier of Whisper Falls. Curious about her world, Mark combs through history to learn about the brutal life she’s trapped in. But knowledge can be dangerous. Soon he must choose between the risk of changing history or dooming the girl he can’t stop thinking about to a lifetime of misery.

My Thoughts

Historical fiction is a soft spot for me. I love getting lost in a book and learning some history at the same time. Whisper Falls by Elizabeth Langston does this–and more!

The time and research Elizabeth dedicated to this story is apparent throughout. Not only are her facts detailed, but her main character shows how difficult research can be. Mark, the hero of the story, becomes exasperated when he can’t find certain specifics on the internet and is forced to seek them elsewhere. I loved how Elizabeth showed the frustrating process of historical research and–more importantly–the satisfaction when you find what you’re looking for (or something you weren’t!). This, combined with the tangible portrayal of late 18th Century America, made Whisper Falls not simply a story, but a lesson in history for me.

“What were the characters like?” you ask. Amazing! Mark is great. His patience with Susanna, the heroine, is endearing. The story of his childhood will make you want to give him a big bear hug and then pat him on the back for overcoming such big obstacles. However, Elizabeth makes sure to keep him realistic, so he does have a few flaws, which can be overlooked (promise!). Susanna is one tough cookie. Being an indentured servant is no walk in the park, and Susanna has it rough. She rises above the difficulties and makes you want to cheer her on while, at the same time, your heart squeezes for her. And the romance? I’ll let you find that out for yourself.

Something that really made me fall in love with this book was Elizabeth’s writing. Sure, a good story and characters are great, but the writing is what makes it all come to life. Elizabeth has a very matter-of-fact way to her writing, yet it isn’t dry or unfeeling. I loved the dialogue between Susanna and Mark, especially. Susanna was hilarious with her wit and sarcasm, and Mark gave just as good as he got! I fell in love with these characters and can’t wait to see them again in the promised sequel!

Lovable characters, entrancing story, and great writing. What are you waiting for?

 

*I am an intern with Spencer Hill Press/Contemporary and was provided with an ARC of Whisper Falls in order to provide an honest review of the book.

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