Book Review | Don’t Breathe a Word

Don't Breathe a Word

From the best-selling author of Promise Not to Tell and Harper Collins Publishers of New York city, comes a thrilling page-turner that pushes the limits of this world and that of fantasy, written by Jennifer McMahon.

Starting with the first chapter, the protagonist, a young woman named Phoebe proves to be unlike other girls her age, showing characteristics fostered by her absent father and alcoholic mother. Promiscuous at a very young age, the teenage Phoebe seems to have grown up far too quickly. 

Fifteen years later, Phoebe has learned a few things over the years, most importantly to value herself.
But some things don’t change, and though Phoebe now finds herself in a mutually beneficial and healthy relationship, she still carries with her many of the fears from her childhood.

Though a woman in her thirties, Phoebe still fears the boogie man, a creature she believes crawls into her room through a trap door under her bed, and not just her bed, but any bed she ever sleeps in. Sam, Phoebe’s much more practical boyfriend is unaware of Phoebe’s dark, secret fears, but like Phoebe, he too has a hidden, well-repressed fear linked to the disappearance of his sister during their childhood.

When Sam and Phoebe receive word that Lisa, Sam’s missing sister has returned to their hometown, a lot of questions begin to unravel, including whether or not it were possible that Lisa may have been kidnapped by a king of the fairies. Soon the two reunite with Sam’s cousin Evie, and the three begin to retrace the summer of Lisa’s disappearance.

Though the premise may seem more akin to children’s fiction, I assure you this is not a book meant for young readers. One thing is certain, for those who love a good mystery and don’t mind slipping into the fantastical, this book is highly recommended. But a warning, this book is not perhaps recommended for before-bed reading if you’re prone to nightmares.


Sarah Aylward received a copy of this book from the publisher, Harper Perennial.


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