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Sea of Whispers Hardcover – 3 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192728393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192728395
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.2 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 784,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tim Bowler was born in Leigh-on-Sea, the setting of his first novel, Midget. After studying Swedish at University, he worked in forestry, the timber trade, teaching and translating before becoming a full-time writer. He has written sixteen novels and won fifteen awards, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for River Boy.

He has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as 'the master of the psychological thriller' and by the Independent as 'one of the truly individual voices in British teenage fiction'.

Product Description

Review

. . . evocative, mysterious new novel . . . (The Bookseller, Fiona Noble)

'the writing is simple, straightforward and often beautiful - landscapes, characters, events are all brought vividly to life. The pacing is brilliant, too, scenes of intense activity or high emotion intercut with much slower-burning sequences . . . Just as important is Bowler's understanding of how tough it is to be stuck between childhood and being an adult.' (Tony Bradman, The Guardian)

'Tim Bowler writes delicately about fear, loss, love, courage, and importantly, about identity. Compelling, haunting and mysterious, his books linger in readers' minds, and this is no exception.' (Booktrust)

"...readers who appreciate the genuine gift-and-art of storytelling, impressive style of writing and a deep concept behind a wise and important story, will fall in love with this book." (The School Librarian)

"...a young novel that mixes the realistic, the mystical and the poetic..." (Irish Times)

Book Description

The latest novel from one of the UK's most compelling writers for teenagers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chris from Hampshire TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Sea of Whispers" is categorised as a Children's Book but does not give any age guide. I would estimate that it would be suitable from about 11-12 years onwards, depending on the maturity of the young person.

It is a quality hardback book, with a nice easy to read typeface and an interesting dust jacket with the book title in very shiny silver letters. The cover depicts what the main character of the book, Hetty, seems to see.

The story is set on the remote island of Mora, which I believe to be a fictional island. The people there could be from any era and I guess the reader has to decide for themselves. To me it was like a remote island of yesteryear, where life is lived in a very traditional, non commercial way. The island community is one of the simple life, self sufficiency, steeped in tradition and not wanting to change their ways. They live the way their ancestors did. The people (and there are only 97 of them on the island) are strong willed and almost of two halves, one being far more archaic (led by 100 year old Per), a bit evil and anti anything they do not want or agree with and the other half being kind hearted, stoic and more open, although equally strong willed. The only contact and opportunity to trade that these islanders have is by their 50 year old boat 'The Pride of Mora'.

Hetty is 15 years old and lives with her Grandmother, who bought her up since Hetty's parents died at sea when she was a 1 year old. She is a girl who seems to prefer to be more on her own, but does have a good friend Tam, who is a nice young man and who tries to look out for her. Collecting sea glass, pieces of glass washed up on the shore, is one of Hetty's hobbies. She treasures these random pieces of glass that have been smoothed by the beating and thrashing of the waves.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A haunting tale set on a small island (location unspecified, but I picture it somewhere off the west coast of Scotland) in a time when boats with sails are the only link to the outside world. The story revolves around the life of Hetty, a fifteen year old girl who was orphaned as an infant and lives with her grandmother. No longer a child, but not quite yet an adult, Hetty is at odds with the restraints and demands of the tight-knit community in which she has been raised. Her fellow islanders, bound by tradition and custom and inhibited by suspicion of the unfamiliar, are wary of Hetty. They are troubled by her unconventional behaviour and her eerie habit of glimpsing visions in the pieces of sea glass she finds washed up on the sands. A sense of foreboding builds as the weather worsens and the unpredictable sea turns its violence on the island, destroying its iconic sailing boat and washing an unwelcome stranger onto the shore. Hetty is forced to confront her own uncertainties and the fear-fuelled prejudices of her community as she sets out on a voyage into the unknown.

The settings in this book are so vividly described that you can taste salt in the air as you read it. The frustrations and conflicts of adolescence, the sense of alienation, the urge for change but reluctance to relinquish the comfort of the familiar, the yearning for something not quite understood, the feeling of being in transit but not knowing the destination are all deftly explored. Although the themes are complex they are interwoven with such dexterity that you are carried effortlessly along by the story. Simple language is used to craft perfectly honed, lyrical passages that frame dramatic sequences crackling with tension.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By International Cowgirl VINE VOICE on 2 Feb. 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My teenaged daughter is a massive Tim Bowler fan, so I've commandeered her for the reviewing of this product. Here's what she had to say:

I loved reading 'The Sea of Whispers'. Apart from the fact I love Tim Bowler's books, I found this to be an amazing read. Lots of chapters kept me on the edge of my seat. I found it difficult to put the book down. I have say, throughout the first few chapters I felt we might be getting into the drama and action too quickly, without getting to know the protagonist, Hetty, well enough. As I kept reading, however, I realised that what I'd thought was drama to begin with was nothing compared to what happens later on…

I grew to love and understand Hetty throughout the novel. I empathised with her situation, but some of her actions were so bold it was hard to put the book down as I had to find the consequences to Hetty's actions. The fact that Hetty has her own beliefs, and I would even say her own power, makes her different from the other islanders. This makes her special in our minds and helps us understand her passion towards certain elements in the book.

I would recommend this book to people who love adventure stories, or mystical novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DennisB on 9 Nov. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sea of Whispers is an elegiac story set in the remote and isolated island of Mora. The main character Hetty is growing up in a community influenced by strong-willed individuals that is inward looking, parochial and suspicious of change. Their only contact with the outside world is trade through their boat, The Pride of Mora.

Hetty sees visions through the sea glass that she picks up on Mora's beaches and hears whispers from the sea. Many in the community are sceptical of Hetty's affinity with things that cannot be explained. Hetty's position within the community is further challenged when a storm hits Mora. The Pride of Mora is destroyed in the storm; some of the community die and a strange woman is washed up on the shore. Hetty feels an attachment with this woman, but many in the community see her as a bad omen and view her with extreme suspicion. The situation deteriorates and Hetty realises the island is not safe for her anymore. She follows her instincts and takes a courageous and very risky decision to leave the island with the woman in a small boat.

Sea of Whispers is a very enjoyable read. There is darkness in the some of the characters, the relationships and attitudes within the community and the prejudice shown. I found the descriptions of the landscape and the sea particularly striking. Bowler does not provide ready answers to the many questions that arise and gives the reader the space to come to their own conclusion. Sea of Whispers is a well-written and paced mystery story with a strong central character. Hetty is sensitive and often misunderstood, but she has the strength to take bold and decisive decisions that change her life.
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