Hannibal Free Public Library

Whisper Network


Chandler Baker

July 18, 2022

2:00 – 3:30 p.m.


Discussion Questions

1. "If only you’d listened to us, none of this would have happened," the reader is told in the prologue. Who is the "you" in this statement? Does this warning ring true by the last page of the book? How does this prophecy color your read of the intervening events?

2. Throughout the novel, Sloane seems to feel some responsibility to protect Katherine from Ames, whom she views as a threat, while Rosalita, Grace, and Ardie all have their own personal philosophies about the "problem of Ames" and their relative roles in it. What responsibility do women bear to protect other women from dangerous men? How does that answer shape your ultimate view of Katherine’s actions?

3. In Chapter 25, the chorus narrates, ". . . but whispers could only carry so far. Such was the purpose of whispering—to ensure that not everyone heard." "Intersectionality" is a term coined by black, feminist scholar Kimberle Crensha was a framework to identify how interlocking systems of power impact those groups that are marginalized. What does the chorus’s statement suggest about the efficacy of whisper networks and issues surrounding intersectionality?

4. In Chapter 15, Sloane worries over whether Ames "knew better" than to act as he did toward his female employees. In what ways, if any, should Ames’s intent factor into a discussion about the fate of his professional life?

5. What parallels can be drawn between Abigail’s experience at school and the experiences of Sloane, Grace, and Ardie in the workplace? Do you think one experience affects the other?

6. The women of Dallas create the BAD Men List to warn each other about men who exhibit predatory behavior. Was Sloane right to add Ames’s name to the list? Is the BAD Men List ethical? Do you ultimately feel such a list is a good idea or a bad one?

7. In what ways do the women in the novel support each other, and in what ways do they fail one another?

8. Chandler Baker has chosen to tell part of the story through a first-person plural ("we") point of view. What is the effect of this? Beyond issues of sexual harassment, how does the workplace experience differ for women in the novel compared to their male counterparts?

Adapted from: https://www.litlhttps://www.litlovers.com/reading-guides/fiction/11625-whisper-network-baker?start=