Did You Whisper Back Book Cover

Did You Whisper Back? – Kate Rigby

This psychological novel gives an insight into the frailty of a mind and the vulnerability of a young girl, Amanda, who never stood a chance.


Twenty-one year old Amanda thinks she has puzzled it all out: she has a twin sister, who was thrown in the dustbin after birth. Somehow, Jo, the twin sister, has survived this nightmare and Amanda feels it is her duty to find her so that she will be whole again. Her drive is a desperate one but Amanda knows she has to persevere or she will always experience this feeling of missing something vital. Amanda would love to know more about her father, Rodney, but Amanda’s mother Rosalind does not want to talk about him. That only adds to Amanda’s imagination…


Amanda lives with her mother, Rosalind, her stepsister Angie and, although he never married Rosalind, stepfather Neville. If you saw them, you would think Angie is Rosalind’s biological daughter as they look and act alike. Rosalind sometimes wishes Angie was her daughter instead of Amanda, who is shy and hates any attention drawn to her. Angie is fun and outgoing and “gives life to her words” although boyfriend Billy is a bit irritated because of her ailments. When Angie has one of her migraines, Billy takes Amanda out instead and regrets it from the moment they walk out the door. Amanda rarely speaks and idle chit-chat, which makes a date entertaining, is not Amanda’s style. But Amanda has something nobody except for Angie knows: she writes poems. Angie knows people find her shallow and, as she is craving for some serious attention from boyfriend Billy, Angie wants to pose as the author of Amanda’s poems.

They do not know it yet, but this is a turning point in their and Angie and Billy’s relationship. At the moment, Amanda is more concerned with her cause of finding her twin sister Jo as Amanda is sure she is called. Amanda even goes as far as applying for a job in Devon after reading Jo’s story in an article. Jo’s appeal brings a certainty to Amanda’s heart that the Jo of the article is her lost twin sister and she will do what it takes to reconnect to Jo in order to get rid of the feeling of loss. What follows is difficult to understand for everyone but Amanda, whose lively imagination paints mind pictures to the events that must have happened and give meaning to her everyday existence. Every spirit has a colour and unless Amanda is able to find her twin sister Jo, whose spirit is “pearly pink or green or blue” Amanda’s spirit cannot be defined. Only when the story moves forward, we have an idea of what happened and who Amanda is.

My Thoughts

I’m shaken up after reading this disturbing psychological novel. How dare people mess up a young girl’s life? The behaviour of two of the characters in particular, was simply appalling to me and I had to hold myself in not to shout at them – the trouble is that they got a second chance, something Amanda was deprived of. I cannot say any more as it would be giving the plot away, but let me say this: people are not pets or, even worse, objects you can dispose of or divide up. Kate Rigby has presented us with a well-written novel, in which we have a unique insight into a fragile mind and the devastating effects of lies and secrets on a vulnerable person. The book left me with so many questions but most of all with feelings of loss and sadness as well as an enormous resentment against those responsible – you have to read this psychological novel to understand my bewilderment.

About the Author

Kate Rigby Author Image

Kate Rigby has been writing for over thirty years now, with some successes along the way! She loves cats, singing, photography, music and LFC, in no particular order. She is also an advocate for online campaigns against social injustice. Her punk novel, Fall Of The Flamingo Circus was published by Allison & Busby (1990) and by Villard (American hardback 1990). Skrev Press published her novels Seaview Terrace (2003) Sucka! (2004) and Break Point (2006) and other shorter work has appeared in Skrev’s avant-garde magazine Texts’ Bones including a version of her satirical novella Lost The Plot. Thalidomide Kid was published by Bewrite Books (2007). Her book Little Guide to Unhip was published by Night Publishing (2010). She has had other short stories published and shortlisted including Hard Workers and Headboards, first published in The Diva Book of Short Stories and also as part of the Dancing In The Dark erotic anthology (Pfoxmoor 2011). She also received a Southern Arts bursary for her novel Where A Shadow Played (now titled ‘Did You Whisper Back?’).

 Book Info

 eBook  Kindle ed 1637 KB – 132 pages
 Publisher   Smashwords (June 14th 2012)
 Language   English
 ASIN  B0077E2M26

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