It is difficult to adequately convey how much I love Milena McKay’s writing. I’m not eloquent enough to do her work justice but I will do my best to express how her writing in A Whisper of Solace made me feel. When I first read The Delicate Things We Make, I was enthralled and then The Headmistress blew my mind. I thought there was no way she could eclipse the brilliance of The Headmistress but then I met Neve Blackthorne. This character and story will stay with me for a very long time.
Neve Blackthorne is the CEO of one of the biggest studios in Hollywood. She has been having an affair with one of subordinates, Audrey Avens for four months and she goes to therapist to help her quit because she knows she can’t do it on her own. She lives in constant fear that she will be found out, she will lose the power she has, she will lose her son. So, she pushes Audrey away even though Audrey is the first person to really love Neve just as she is.
What makes this story unique is that it is told from the ice queen’s point of view. We get to see the many facets of Neve and not through the rose-colored glasses of the woman who loves her. No, we see all of the moments where Neve is cruel and cold mixed in with the moments where she can be kind and vulnerable. There are more cruel and cold moments but in the kind and vulnerable ones, we see who Neve has the capacity to become as she gains more insight into why she behaves the way she does.
Each chapter begins with Neve talking to her therapist and over the course of several years, we see Neve’s growth. Dr. Moore never pushes, she listens and over time a trust develops as happens with the best doctor/patient relationships. Audrey is a fascinating character. She isn’t intimated by Neve, although she’s nearly twenty years younger. I really like Audrey’s growth throughout the story as well. She hardens as the story progresses but still retains her goodness. She is Neve’s perfect match if Neve can only get out of her own way.
This is a fascinating character study of a woman who lets fear consume her and the struggles she must endure to get to a place where she can overcome those fears. It may not be wise to call A Whisper of Solace perfect, but it’s a close to perfect as I have read in a very long time. It will be a few days before I can read anything else. I need to sit with this book and with Neve Blackthorne for a while. Milena McKay continues to show that she is one of the most talented writers in our community. Her writing is layered, beautiful, at times painful but always mesmerizing. Spend a day with Neve Blackthorne. It won’t always be easy but it will be an experience you won’t soon forget.
An ARC was received from the author for an honest review.