Did You Whisper Back? by Kate Rigby ** Weekend Blitz Review & Giveaway **

Today I am taking part in the 'Weekend Blitz' to celebrate Kate Rigby's psychological novel, Did You Whisper Back? There is also a Giveaway to enter for a chance to win a paperback copy of two of Kate's books: Savage To Savvy and Far Cry From The Turquoise Room. Details on how to enter can be found at the end of the post. (Sorry, UK only).

Book Description 

 Set in the nineteen-seventies, Did You Whisper Back? begins with Amanda Court's longing to be reunited with her estranged twin sister Jo. Following a false lead, Amanda leaves her Merseyside home and family and goes to Devon to work as a chambermaid where she believes Jo now lives. Amanda's new life begins to encroach on her personal space and time, and her search for Jo is put on hold until Amanda feels Jo calling her back to Liverpool.

Gradually it emerges that Jo is, seemingly, just a figment of Amanda's imagination arising from distorted childhood memories. She experiences a series of strange and sometimes frightening experiences, including lamps talking and the endless ringing of telephones, until the desperation of her family reaches breaking point.

Did You Whisper Back? is a psychological novel about family secrets and a disturbing portrayal of the fragility of the mind.

This book was awarded a Southern Arts Bursary.

My Thoughts

This is a book which explores mental illness, taking you into Amanda's strange and confused inner thoughts. It is an unsettling place to be at times and it contrasts with the everyday life of her step-sister. Written in the third person, it emphasises for you how dislocated Amanda feels from those around her. Brought up in a complicated family, with unacknowledged secrets, you sense how fragile she has become. There is a lot of detail and depth in Amanda's character but you have to unravel the clues. Starved of information about her family, her imagination runs amok, and she becomes increasingly difficult for people to reach. She constructs a fantasy as a safe place to retreat to. 

    Although the central theme of the book focuses on Amanda's mental state, the other members of her family and friends are featured. Her step-sister seems self-absorbed, passing Amanda's poetry off as her own, to impress her boyfriend. Amanda's early passivity and desire to be 'normal', means that she acquiesces. Most difficult to understand is Amanda's mother, Rosalind, who has her own difficulties and ignores too many warning signs. In this disjointed family, there is little true communication.
    I felt that the latter sections of the story repaid its reading. It deals with a difficult subject but has surprising twists before the truth emerges. 

In short: a psychological novel which delves beneath the surface of a disturbed mind. 
About the Author

Kate Rigby was born near Liverpool and now lives in the south west of England.  She’s been writing for nearly forty years, with a few small successes along the way. She is a hybrid author, having been traditionally published, small press published and now indie published.
She realized her unhip credentials were mounting so she decided to write about it. Little Guide to Unhip was first published in 2010 and it has since been updated.
However, she’s not completely unhip. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka!(2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant garde magazine Texts’ Bones.
Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007).
She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology, Pfoxmoor Publishing (2011)
She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now re-Kindled as Did You Whisper Back?).
She has re-Kindled her backlist of previously published as well as most of her unpublished work including:
Break Point (Awesome Indies Certified), Seaview Terrace, Far Cry From The Turquoise Room, Suckers n Scallies (formerly Sucka!), Down The Tubes (Underground Book Reviews Certified), She Looks Pale, Tales By Kindlelight (a collection of short stories, many of them previously published or shortlisted in short story competitions and now available in paperback as She Looks Pale & Other Stories), Savage To Savvy  (ABNA Quarter-Finalist 2012 and Awesome Indies Approved), Thalidomide Kid, The Dead Club

You can connect with Kate on her Website  |  BlogFacebook

Book Links: Amazon US   |  Amazon UK  |  Kobo   |  iTunes 
  |  Barnes & Noble 

 Giveaway (UK only)

For a chance to win a paperback copy of two of Kate's previous books: Savage To Savvy and Far Cry From The Turquoise Room, follow the link below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Kate Rigby and Jenny at Neverland Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the Weekend Blitz.



  1. Thanks very much for your insightful review and for including me on your blog. Best wishes - Kate

    1. It's a pleasure. Good luck with your book.


Post a Comment

Popular Posts