First Advisor

Anthony Wolk

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing






Adolescent, Coming of age, Abandoned children, Disfigured children -- Juvenile fiction, Outcasts -- Juvenile fiction, Dystopias -- Juvenile fiction



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 327 p.)


Whisper was a reject, living in a world so polluted and damaged that many humans and animals alike were born with defects. She'd grown up in an outcast camp far from any village, and those who lived in the camp were like her: disfigured. But on her sixteenth birthday, Whisper's father came to take her back to the village where she was to fill her mother's vacated spot and perform duties for the family. Her job was to cook, clean, wash the clothes, and maintain the family property. At night she was chained to the doghouse. Her uncle decided that Whisper could make far more money for the family by other means. He escorted her to the city where he brought her to the Purgatory Palace which was full of people like her, people with disfigurements who had been abandoned by their families and lived in the city for one reason only -to beg for money. Whisper refused to beg, and instead used the violin she'd received from her mother, and played songs for the money she earned. This became tolerable for a time. But Whisper missed her forest home with an ache as cold as the city and she missed the other rejects from the camp in the woods. When she was accused of attacking a store attendant, she found herself in jail. She was rescued by Solomon, a man who had heard her songs on the street corners and said that she played as only a genius could. He offered her a place at The Conservatory of Music, where she would study the violin with him. Whisper accepted this offer but even though she was warm, safe, and played music every day, she did not fit in at The University and knew that she never would. This is a young adult novel about Whisper, trying to find a place in a world that doesn't accept her. It is a story of rejection, pollution and social status. Whisper discovers that through perseverance, friends and determination, anyone can find a way to fit.


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