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Whispers Through a Megaphone

Whispers Through a Megaphone

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Read our interview with Rachel Elliott, in which she discusses why life veers between comedy and tragedy, how her psychotherapy training helped in creating her characters and the strange situation of being able to write reviews of so many of our everyday experiences online.

Miriam hasn't left her house in three years, and cannot raise her voice above a whisper. But today she has had enough, and is finally ready to rejoin the outside world. Meanwhile, Ralph has made the mistake of opening a closet door, only to discover with a shock that his wife Sadie doesn't love him, and never has. And so he decides to run away. Miriam and Ralph's chance meeting in a wood during stormy weather marks the beginning of an amusing, restorative friendship, while Sadie takes a break from Twitter to embark on an intriguing adventure of her own. As their collective story unfolds, each of them seeks to better understand the objects of their affection, and their own hearts, timidly refusing to stand still and accept the chaos life throws at them. Filled with wit and sparkling prose, Whispers Through a Megaphone explores our attempts to meaningfully connect with ourselves and others, in an often deafening world - when sometimes all we need is a bit of silence.

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Pushkin Press Publication Date: 27/08/2015 ISBN-13: 9780992918224  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Rachel Elliott is a writer and psychotherapist. She has worked in arts and technology journalism and her writing has featured in a variety of publications, from digital arts magazines to the French Literary Review. She has also been shortlisted for a number of short story and novel competitions in the UK and the US. Rachel was born in Suffolk, and now lives in Bath. Whispers Through a Megaphone is her first novel.

See our Author Page for Rachel Elliott

More books by Rachel Elliott

Customer Reviews

I was lucky enough to win and be sent a proof copy of this novel through Foyles as part of a giveaway. So firstly, thank you for treating me to a novel that I wouldn't have necessarily bought for myself, but I thoroughly enjoyed! This book made me realise that being 20 and not having anything figured out yet might not be so bad. These characters are in their 30’s and they’re in the same boat. In fact, many of them have made terrible choices and they’re only just realising it and suffering the consequences. But this all makes this book sound very downbeat and depressing. Which it’s not. It was actually very life affirming and uplifting to read. Miriam Delaney is our first main character. She is quiet, both figuratively and literally, with a lot of thoughts, has suffered significant trauma throughout her life, and hasn’t actually left her house in the past 3 years. Ralph Swoon, the reluctant psychotherapist, has only just realised that he is rather miserable, may be in a loveless marriage and his wife is quite possibly a lesbian. Their chance meeting in the woods one afternoon when they are both at significant turning points in their lives sparks an unusual but healing, platonic relationship and this odd meeting turns out to be the catalyst for some big life changes for the both of them. This novel goes back and forth between many characters and their view points, from Miriam to her frantic and rather awful mother Frances, to Miriam’s helpful neighbour and not so secret admirer Boo, from Ralph to his confused wife Sadie and their twin teenage sons, and a few others. Although this was a lot to keep track of at times, the novel never felt overcrowded. Every character felt like they had a very relevant, and very important part to play and I wanted to hear from everyone. After finishing ‘Whispers Through a Megaphone’ I felt like every character’s story was nicely concluded, but in a way that let the reader know that they still had so much to experience, so much more life to live. This novel was very human, very heart-warming, quite humorous at times, yet quiet sad in others. As mentioned before, this is not the type of novel I would usually pick up, but I was pleasantly surprised and would definitely read more from Rachel Elliott off the back of this read. The main feeling I took away from this novel is that as much as some try to make it so, life is not, and cannot, be perfect. Nothing is set in stone, we are all human who make mistakes, and not everything is quite what it seems initially. And there’s not a thing wrong with any of this. In fact, it can be quite beautiful.

- 01/09/2015
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