Whispers in the Village, Paperback Book

Whispers in the Village Paperback

Part of the Turnham Malpas series

3.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Conflict, mistrust and a tragedy...There is nothing quiet about the village of Turnham Malpas.When the rector, Peter, takes his family to Africa for a year so that he can work in a mission, the villagers are bereft.

What's more, the locum, Anna, has rather modern ideas and the parishioners determined to keep an eye on her.

Then she brings a down-and-out petty thief into their midst, sparking conflict within the community.The Women's Institute comes up with the idea of raising funds for Peter's mission and holds an upmarket pyjama party, midnight skinny dipping and an afternoon's horse racing.

Then a message arrives from Peter with the most devastating news - and the villagers are more determined than ever to raise a substantial sum for the mission.


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Review by

The much loved rector of Turham Malpas decides to leave England and do some mission work in Africa for one year. His wife, Caroline, and their twins go with him. A new pastor is assigned to the village while Peter is away, Anna, and her presence causes some conflict among the villagers. She is much more modern than the people are used to, and particularly causes division when she opens up the rectory to a down on his luck former (?) thief. Meanwhile, an organization in Turham Malpas hosts a variety of wild fund raising events in order to help fund Peter's mission work. This effort includes sponsored skinny dipping and town-wide gambling. Everything changes, however, when Peter sends news of complete devestation.Quote: "A woman! They'd narrowly escaped having their own railway station, tolerated the coming of the wireless, then the telephone poles and TV, they'd embraced computers, mobile phones - and a blessed nuisance they were on the Saturday shopping bus - and digital this and DVD that, but a woman rector! This was one step to far."This eleventh novel in the Turham Malpas series has its ups and its downs. The Anna storyline falls a little flat, partly because of her watery personality and partly because Peter and his family are such an engrained pillar of village life that a whole exists without him. This lack is somewhat alleviated by the charitable efforts of the townspeople, which are entertaining and endearing.

Review by

This book is 12th in the Turnham Malpas series, and is a little different from the previous ones in that it's about what happens in the village when the Rector, Peter and his family, go on a year's mission assignment in Africa. <br/><br/>His replacement, Anna, is not all that well received. Partly because of course no new minister can ever live up to the previous one, partly because she has some modern ideas about making the church more lively, and attractive to younger people. <br/><br/>Then Anna introduces a rather shifty character to the neighbourhood, and things get even worse. <br/><br/>Regular communications from Peter appear in the form of emails, and they too have a shock towards the end of the book.<br/><br/>As with most of these books (which can all be read individually, though it's probably helpful to have read at least one or two others beforehand) there's not much character development. The plotting is good and the pace is rapid, but I found myself unmoved by any of it.<br/><br/>And yet, this series somehow continues to be compulsive reading...

Also by Rebecca Shaw   |  View all

Also in the Turnham Malpas series   |  View all