Whisper Network is a novel that would not exist without the #MeToo movement as it is inspired by the Shitty Media Men spreadsheet, a controversial effort by women in media to have each other’s back by informing each other who the harassers and abusers are. As often happens, the woman who created the list was vilified with more outrage and passion than the men on the list.
The main characters in Whisper Network are four in-house lawyers at a sportswear company in Dallas all of whom work under Ames, a man who is likely to be the next CEO, something that makes them uneasy.
The four women are Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Katherine. Katherine is a new hire whose left a bad experience behind her. Sloane has had an affair with Ames and resents how he uses their past to diminish her work. Grace is a new mother with a clear case of post-partum depression struggling to juggle work and the new baby. Ardie is an old hand, unhappily divorced, and a good friend with a good heart. Through her we also meet Rosalinda, one of the cleaning staff she befriends. When tragedy happens at work, these women are at the center of it and the spreadsheet of BAD lawyers is a criticial plot point.
I enjoyed Whisper Network quite a bit. The chapters begin with an introductory paragraph or two that capture the lived experience of many women. This introductions are often biting and humorous. There is a snappy style to Chandler Baker’s writing that keeps the story moving. There are interestial documents of interviews and depositions that foreshadow the crisis, but seriously, nothing prepared me for the end. It was a complete surprise and I loved it.
I received a copy of Whisper Network from the publisher through NetGalley