3.33 (27 ratings by Goodreads)
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Roper is illiterate. He is a poor, hard-working black man in the unforgiving heart of south Georgia, striving each day to put distance between his new life and his probation for a petty crime one year earlier. His routine is his savior: At sunrise he mounts the tractor belonging to Math Taylor, a prominent white landowner, and grooms the vast grounds of the Taylor home -- until one morning, when Roper's routine goes terribly wrong. While mowing the tall grass at the back end of the property, he comes across the body of his boss' wife, dead of a heart attack. In a moment of panic, terrified that he'll be blamed for her death and sent back to jail, Roper hides her body where it will not be found.

With the ensuing days and weeks comes a painstaking and fruitless search for the missing woman. The police want to interview Roper, to ask him if he happened to see Lora Taylor before her mysterious disappearance. After all, wasn't he running the tractor around the time she vanished?

Now Roper is not sure he did the right thing. He should have called for help. And there is no way he can come forward at this point. As the investigation begins and the tragedy hits the evening news, Roper is nearly crippled with self-induced fear and paranoia.

A gritty novel of suspense, "Whistle" is a powerful departure for acclaimed southern novelist Janice Daugharty. Masterfully weaving the fears of a desperate man with the stark lives of those around him, Daugharty creates a landscape of profound questions and moral quandary. "Whistle" is Daugharty's most evocative and ambitious novel to date.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 133.4 x 202.4 x 13.7mm | 174.18g
  • HarperPerennial
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0060930918
  • 9780060930912

Review quote

"Daugharty writes taut and vivid prose that brands white-hot images on your gray matter and makes you sit up straight with admiration."-- Lisa Alther, "Washington Post Book World""Whistle" is an ambitious and vivid tale, by an increasingly impressive novelist."-- "Kirkus Reviews""Whistle is a wonderful piece of storytelling...It is also a shrewd social commentary."-- Amanda Heller, "Boston Sunday Globe"In much the same way that Shirley Ann Grau's 1964 Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Keepers of the House" defined the rural South of its time, ["Whistle"] captures three decades later. Here is a work against fiction about today's South should be measured for a long time."-- "Publishers Weekly"
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Rating details

27 ratings
3.33 out of 5 stars
5 19% (5)
4 30% (8)
3 30% (8)
2 11% (3)
1 11% (3)
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