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Women, Work, and Waging War in Whisper Network

in Girly Book Club by

Get some Midol.

Those three words uttered by any man is bad enough, but your boss? Whisper Network (Flatiron Books), a novel of domestic suspense by Chandler Baker, vividly portrays the razor-sharp, double-edged sword of being a professional woman in corporate America.

Whisper Network chronicles several months in the lives of professional women of a legal department at Truviv Inc., a Fortune 100 company in Dallas. Confident and outgoing Sloane Glover, patient and stoical Ardie Valdez, levelheaded new-mom Grace Stanton and young new-hire Katherine Bell report to General Counsel Ames Garrett. The tenuous equilibrium of the group is set off-kilter when the company’s CEO dies, and Ames is considered for promotion.

Ames is a walking stereotype, his love for his wife overshadowed by his love of sexually and emotionally manipulating the women who work for him.

Sloane is Wonder Woman in a business suit. It’s true she’d had an affair with Ames so many years ago, and their professional relationship has suffered because of it. She can’t believe he’s not already included on the BAD Men list—a spreadsheet circulating around town listing the sleazy men in Dallas. When Ames appears to take advantage of the new attorney, Katherine, Sloane must act.  

Grace is a walking zombie, trying to juggle new motherhood with being a flawless attorney. She’s bone-tired, plagued by the guilt of not doing her best at the office, but also by her thoughts of loving her job as much as her new baby girl. Or maybe even more. She’d coveted a kinship with caring new mothers, but can now only empathize with those who drove their minivans into a lake.

Ardie knows what it’s like to be a single mom while simultaneously managing her high-powered job as an attorney. She’s seen what Sloane has suffered through the last 10 years after the affair with Ames, and now he’s targeted Katherine. But Ardie also has secrets of her own that she hasn’t been willing to share. Until now.

And then there’s Rosalita, the woman who cleans the office at night, seeing what others try to hide. Will she use those secrets to make things right?

Women are expected to be effortlessly perfect and flexible, juggling high-powered careers while having babies and caring for the family. But who says we have to do it all? Usually, we say it to ourselves, guilt coating the words like a film, knowing we likely can’t succeed in everything.

In this tale told by an unknown female narrator, the intricacies of maneuvering between professional and personal domains of life — and just being a woman — are amplified with the everyday obstacles and guilty thoughts which plague women, day in and day out. At the heart of the narrative is a social commentary on the precarious balance of being a career professional, wife, and mother.

And then, of course, did we even mention — there is a murder investigation: someone fell from the 18th floor of Truviv’s building. Was it suicide, an accident, or murder? The unfolding of the story is tantalizingly peppered with snippets of deposition transcripts and texts.

They began by whispering, so not everyone could hear, but finally shouted the words so men would have to listen. Clever and spot-on in its characterization of the complicated world of working women, this book is not a whisper but a thunderclap.

Whisper Network will be available to purchase July 2, 2019.

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ABOUT CHANDLER BAKER:

Image courtesy of chandlerbaker.com

Chandler Baker lives in Austin, TX with her husband and toddler where she also works as a corporate attorney. Before that, she grew up in Sarasota, Florida, went to college at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, did a stint at a D.C. firm and worked in Dallas for a major sports franchise. Now, she can usually be found listening to audiobooks at two times the normal speed, overspending at bookstores or obsessing over true crime. She is the author of five young adult books. Whisper Network is her first adult novel. 

K. L. Romo writes about life on the fringe: teetering dangerously on the edge is more interesting than standing safely in the middle. She is passionate about women’s issues, loves noisy clocks and fuzzy blankets, but HATES the word normal. Visit KLRomo.com or @klromo.

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