Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Straight Reading from the Library: It Started with a Whisper by A.W. Hartoin

This book was sent to me for a review from Goddess Fish Promotions and am I glad they did!  It's a book I think will work really well at the library.  I hope you leave a comment, because one commenter on the tour will win a $10 Amazon gift card from the author.  If you want to see the other stops on the tour and read the other reviews, just click here:  


Wishes are powerful things, if you belong to the MacClarity clan. You can ask Ernest for anything and he’ll make it come true, even though he’s been dead for nearly a hundred years. Puppy MacClarity doesn’t take the rumors about Ernest too seriously. But when he’s had enough of his teacher’s harassment, Puppy asks Ernest to take care of Miss Pritchett for him. Ernest does and family secrets start to surface like magic. During a summer filled with both fear and fun, Puppy begins to realize that Ernest isn’t the only special thing about his family, and their oddities aren’t just skin deep. Too bad he didn’t know sooner.


This story is a charmer--told from the points of view of Puppy, the 14-year-old great-great-grandson and namesake of Ernest, and his best friend Frank.   I do hope this is the first book of a series, because the author makes allusions to several things that were left hanging in this book--not the least of which is Frank's importance in Puppy's life.

The family Puppy is born into is admittedly odd--from his mother and aunt (who are twins and both artists) to his cousins and sisters (each part of a set of twins).  The adult women are bohemian--and a little bit more. And, when Puppy asks Ernest's help to take care of Miss Pritchett, Ernest does so in a way that Puppy never expected.

The best part about the book is their life at the Camp--a summer ritual that frees them all fom the chains of town. It's close enough to town that friends can come and go, but far enough out that the artists are free to indulge their passions--and the children are safe as long as they stay on the property.  It would be a wonderful place to hang out!

As Puppy is drawn into the mysteries that surround the Camp this particular summer, however, he learns more about himself and his family than he ever dreamed.

The author did a fantastic job of introducing the family and their talents--the teens are realistically drawn (allowing room for the fantastic elements of their lives). They are not perfect; they have their flaws; but it's just that that makes you feel like  you know them.  

The mystery is light and not the most compelling part of this book--it's a book of family, friends, and relationships--and I hope to be able to meet this family again.


A.W. Hartoin is the author of the Mercy Watts mystery series and the Away From Whipplethorn fantasy series. She lives in Colorado with her husband, two children, and six bad chickens.





  1. A fabulous review thank you. It's great when you find a book that you hope will grow into more stories.


  2. I love books that center around a quirky family. Sounds like this book is right up my ally!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

  3. The cover looks awesome, did you choose it yourself?

    lyra.lucky7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Hi, Lyra. Karri Klawiter did the cover. She's an awesome designer. I had the idea, but she made it work.

  4. Great review, sounds like an interesting mystery.


  5. Do your characters resemble someone you know?

    moonsurfer123 at gmail dot com