Whisper has lived in the woods ever since she was abandoned as an infant because of a disfigured mouth. In her society, disfigurations are frowned upon, so she instead lives with a few others who were also abandoned and taken in by a man named Nathaniel. The beginning is very expository because Whisper doesn’t talk much, and when she does, she whispers - hence her name - and the book takes a while for the book to get going.
After Whisper is taken away by the father who abandoned her then moved again to the city and forced to work to give her father money, the story picks up. Whisper meets other characters who also have disfigurations and learns how to live with her own and use the talents she has to make a living. I enjoyed the middle when Whisper was growing as a character and learning new things and the story was developing. However, partway through, a doctor offered to fix Whisper’s disfiguration, and while this was probably supposed to make Whisper struggle with her identity and how much her disfiguration felt a part of her, I felt as though it undermined the premise. Their society was advanced enough to be able to identify her disfiguration - a cleft palate - and the doctor has fixed many of them before, but they still treat those with any sort of disfiguration as evil and abandon their infants in the woods. When the book started, I thought that there was almost no technology and they all believed in magic, but that’s not the case. They call Whisper a devil, but that’s the only time anyone seems to believe that there’s anything supernatural in the world.This is a 2.7. The writing sometimes got really wordy and I didn’t like the world it was set in. The world could have been fleshed out some more, but I did like the middle and the development that happened there. This is like a cream puff with really good cream inside but with the outer dough somewhat lacking.