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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
Whispers in the Alders by H.A. Callum is a lyrical story that combines an eclectic set of literary elements to introduce readers to great characters, the story of an impossible love in a setting that is harsh and unforgiving, a coming of age, a romance that embraces drama; it is one of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this year. Tommy and Audrey are two young people who happen to live in Alder Ferry. Tommy’s childhood hasn’t been the best, but he has braved it, taking refuge in his book collection. Then Audrey comes into his life and everything changes. The two “castaways” develop a friendship that soon transforms into a love as pure and strong like nothing anyone in Alder Ferry has ever known. But their love doesn’t seem to get the approval of most of the inhabitants of this forlorn place. Can they face the storms, the occasional headaches and heartaches, and the obstacles stacked against them, and move into their adult life still keeping the bond of love?
H.A. Callum’s novel redefines the concept of love and friendship and gives a fresh meaning to hospitality. The book is character-driven and readers will love the key characters in the story. The setting is captured in vivid descriptions and readers are able to visualize the alders and many important objects that form part of this story. Whispers in the Alders is told in an engrossing first person narrative, the plot is swift, and the pacing is excellent. I couldn’t put this one down. It was both exciting and entertaining and the characters are going to stick with me for some time. This book is a great success indeed.