- Read Date: November 6, 2019
- Rating: 3/5
- Format: E-book
When Sloane Glover, Ardie Valdez, and Grace Stanton, three high-level attorneys, realize that their historically predatory boss just might have found a new target in the company’s most recent hire, the women decide to snap into action. They choose to challenge the odds and speak out against a corporate system that has not been known to come to the defense of its female employees, and, in turn, they choose to risk the possible consequences.
Sloane, Ardie, and Grace’s plan goes awry when a shocking event occurs, and they have to rely on the bravery and solidarity of a few other female coworkers to ensure a just outcome.
*SPOILERS IN WHITE HERE; HIGHLIGHT TO READ, KEEP SCROLLING TO SKIP*:
the aforementioned predatory boss falls from the eighteenth floor of their office building! could there have been foul play?!
I think this book did a lot well and raised a lot of important questions and ideas. Sexual harassment and objectification in the workplace are huge problems, and I also agree that women are held to an unspoken set of standards in a corporate setting that we are certainly hyper-aware of on a daily basis. The author draws attention to the minutiae of unofficial protocol working women face daily, as well as the affectations we’re expected to employ (e.g. makeup is tacitly required, but not *too much* makeup!) and, at least in the case of Truviv and Sloane, Ardie, and Grace, polite deference to male counterparts when necessary.
That said, I had quite a few issues with the book as well. I think Baker goes to great lengths to argue that working women are far more than we are stereotyped to be (we are! I agree!), and then subsequently creates characters who are the exact embodiment of those stereotypes. I found some of the narrative commentary to be a bit redundant, and the long descriptions of the guilt women carry, the depiction of “the perfect man”, and the obsession with maintaining a figure seemed– dare I say it– the patent antithesis of empowerment.
I am confident some of those opinions will be unpopular, and perhaps I’m being overly critical, but with issues as important and delicate as officeplace harassment and gender politics, women should be able to expect more. In fact, the most empowering and least generalized character in the whole novel came in the form of the Hispanic cleaner, Rosalita, whose unexpected connection to the larger Truviv issues was a gorgeous plot point with the kind of determination and respectability I’d hoped for from our other three protagonists as well.
Ultimately, Whisper Network brought a lot of strength to the table, and has inched the literary feminism cause forward, allowing for other authors to craft novels of similar import, though, it is my hope, with a bit more foundation.
Did you read Whisper Network? Do you agree or disagree with any of my thoughts? Let me know below.
Get Whisper Network here or at your local library, and as always, happy reading!