They say there is truth in fiction, and that’s particularly true for The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker, the July selection for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. Any woman who has ever worked for a large company or corporation knows that there is an unspoken tension around the validity of women in the workplace.
I’m sure there are people that would say that’s completely false. That we’ve broken through the glass ceiling. Probably the same people who feel that race is also no longer an issue. Because these things shouldn’t matter, especially in our post #metoo society. But anyone who has lived as a minority or a woman knows that they just do.
There are of course huge exceptions, but there are also companies that are not exceptions. I once worked for a company that by all accounts was a great company, except that there were policies that just didn’t feel quite right. For instance, females were not invited out to lunch by their male superiors, nor could they be in closed door meetings with a man.
This policy, whether official or not, was put into place to “protect” women. Yet, it perpetuated a “boys club” type of atmosphere where somehow, men, advanced quicker. Hmm. Perhaps due to the relationships they were able to build in the company that many women were not given access too? Hmm. Not sure.
The women in Whisper Network, prove that women do not need to protected. We are more than capable of taking care of ourselves.
From the Publisher:
Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita are four women who have worked at Truviv, Inc., for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Ames is a complicated man, a man they’ve all known for a long time, a man who’s always been surrounded by…whispers. Whispers that have always been ignored by those in charge. But the world has changed, and the women are watching Ames’s latest promotion differently. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.
Sloane and her colleagues set in motion a catastrophic shift within every floor and department of the Truviv offices. All four women’s lives—as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries—will change dramatically as a result.
“If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened.”
It took me a little while to get going with this one. I think that for me, it took a bit of time to differentiate the three main characters from each other. But once I felt I had down who each of them were and what they stood for, things definitely took off from there.
The women; Sloane, Ardie, Grace and Rosalita, all work for Truviv. And like any large corporation, there are well-hidden scandals and secrets that are whispered about behind closed doors. And even things like actual true assaults are not always reported because there are blurry lines and office politics.
One particular man, Ames, is bad news. And he should have been reported years ago. Maybe he was. But bad men can rise to power. Events, details, reports can be questioned, spun or even ignored. So the women have always tried to look out for each other where he is concerned.
Chandler has nailed the atmosphere of many offices these days. Where women have power and big jobs, but not always without a price. I found the events that unfolded slightly less commonplace, but it was a good mechanism with which to frame the everyday tension and office politics that do exist.
I’ve called books “domestic thrillers”, but I really think of those as more the ever day of our lives and homes. I’m searching for a term for the office thriller. Perhaps “workplace suspense?” Too dry? Let me know your suggestions!
Whisper Network is available now, and definitely worth checking out. Get your copy: