Book review – Whispers Through a Megaphone by Rachel Elliot

Whispers through a Megaphone is one of those charming, if improbable stories about two people floundering in their own existence, and finding each other at the right time. Miriam is a thirty five year old woman, who has not left the house in the three years since her strict, and over-bearing mother died. Ralph is a timid psychotherapist, with a fracturing marriage. His sons, the neighbours, and his wife’s thousands of Twitter followers know more about the state of his marriage then he does.
We live in a world where we are increasingly attached too more people than ever before, but real connections, between people are harder to create, and a full time job to maintain.
So instead of being reliant on the help of two of her friends, and her love-lorn neighbour, Miriam learns to make connections to the outside world, whilst Ralph learns to re-connect with his sons, and to learn to adapt to his gay son’s way of life. Miriam makes contact with the father she always thought was dead, by way of her two half brothers.
In many ways, this is a book about mid-life crisis, but one than is enforced. Both Miriam and Ralph have to make sense of the changes that other people are putting into their lives, and if things don’t change, they will only stagnate.
Whispers Through a Megaphone is a carefully drawn character study, that flirts with humour, pathos, the pain of lost opportunities, and over protective family, but through it all, we feel for Miriam, and the close coterie of friends, that feed her a fractured view of the world, but one which she won’t see properly, until she goes out into the world, to experience it for herself.

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