Don't Breathe a Word

Don't Breathe a Word

3.58 (13,789 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Don't Breathe a Word is a haunting page-turner that kept me up, spine shivering and enthralled, way past my bedtime."
--Joshilyn Jackson, author of Gods in Alabama and Backseat Saints

"Jennifer McMahon never flinches and never fails to [she] weaves a young couple into a perverse fairyland where Rosemary's Baby could be at home."
--Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer's Daughters

Two young lovers find themselves ensnared in a seemingly supernatural web that ties them to a young girl's disappearance fifteen years earlier in this dark and twisty tale from the New York Times bestselling author of Island of Lost Girls and Promise Not to Tell. Jennifer NcMahon returns with a vengeance with Don't Breathe a Word--an absolutely chilling and ingenious combination of psychological thriller, literary suspense, and paranormal page-turner that will enthrall a wildly diverse audience including, among others, avid fans of Keith Donohue (The Stolen Child), Laura Lippman (I'd Know You Anywhere), and Tana French.(In the Woods).
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Product details

  • Paperback | 447 pages
  • 136 x 203 x 20mm | 372g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Original
  • 0061689378
  • 9780061689376
  • 263,037

Back cover copy

On a soft summer night in Vermont, twelve-year-old Lisa went into the woods behind her house and never came out again. Before she disappeared, she told her little brother, Sam, about a door that led to a magical place where she would meet the King of the Fairies and become his queen.

Fifteen years later, Phoebe is in love with Sam, a practical, sensible man who doesn't fear the dark and doesn't have bad dreams--who, in fact, helps Phoebe ignore her own. But suddenly the couple is faced with a series of eerie, unexplained occurrences that challenge Sam's hardheaded, realistic view of the world. As they question their reality, a terrible promise Sam made years ago is revealed--a promise that could destroy them all.
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Review quote

"Beautifully written and spooky, Don't Breathe a Word wraps around you and pulls you into a dark world of fairies and family secrets."--Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Still Missing
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Rating details

13,789 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 21% (2,876)
4 35% (4,876)
3 29% (4,053)
2 11% (1,473)
1 4% (511)

Our customer reviews

Lisa believes there are fairies in the woods behind their house. One summer her, her brother Sam and cousin Evie try to find them. Lisa is sure she can find and contact the King of Fairies. But then Lisa disappears. Years later, Phoebe is with Sam when he gets a call about Lisa. Their lives will be thrown into disarray figuring out what happened to Lisa. I have one word to describe this book: creepy. It starts with the cover. That little girl is creepy enough to give me nightmares. It is an awesome cover, but I am glad I was reading an ebook copy so I didn't have to see it all the time. The story switches between Phoebe in the present day and Lisa during the summer she disppears. Each girl has a clearly defined voice. It is easy to follow who is narrating. Both girl's have a solid personality, and it is easy to like both of them. The fairies in the story are not sweet, pleasant fairy-tale creatures. They are tricky and have an evil side. This is definitely a darker type of fairy. Overall, I found the story haunting. I couldn't put it down until I found out the whole story. And it was impossible to guess all the twists and turns that were coming. This is one story that will stay with you long after you finish more
by Sarah Merchant
In this stunning novel by Jennifer McMahon the line between reality and fantasy is blurred by secrets and lies, madness and myth. Lisa is twelve years old when she disappears in the woods behind her home. Legend considers the woods dangerous, an entire village had once vanished leaving behind only an infant boy, but for Lisa, it is a place of magic, a door to the realm of the fairies ruled by King Teilo and her greatest wish is become his Queen. Fifteen years later, Lisa's brother Sam, and his girlfriend Phoebe, receive a cryptic phone call and find a young girl in the ruins of Reliance, emaciated and incoherent. Somewhere, lurking in the shadows, is the truth of what happened to Lisa, but whose truth do you believe? "What if things happened to you-special, magic things-because you'd been preparing for them? What if by believing, you opened a door?" Pushing against the edges of reality, this novel is a successful blend of psychological thriller, suspense, horror and magical realism. It's an ambitious combination which McMahon achieves with a carefully constructed plot. Told in alternating chapters of past and present, the transition's are generally smooth, though the format demands concentrated attention at times. The two perspectives provide both misdirection and clues that sometimes compete with each other, emphasizing the idea that the truth lies somewhere in between. McMahon slowly builds an atmosphere of oppressive unease, where everything is just sightly 'wrong' in both timelines. The story takes disturbing twists just when you may begin to make assumptions about Lisa's fate and what happened that night in the woods. The juxtaposition of innocent childhood fantasy and corrupted adult desire at the conclusion is confronting. The climax is chillingly ambiguous, but I loved the final delicious flick of doubt. Don't Breathe A Word is a compelling yet disturbing contemporary tale where dreams and nightmares breathe in shadows and the veil between reality and fantasy is gossamer thin. Hauntingly enigmatic, Jennifer McMahon asks you - do you believe?show more
by Shelley Cusbert
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