Whisper My Secret: A Memoir

Whisper My Secret: A Memoir


"Can you keep a secret? Can you keep a secret? I don't suppose you can. You mustn't laugh; you mustn't smile, but… do the best you can."

How does a mother cope when she is forced to walk away from her three children and never see them again? That is what happened to JB's mother, Myrtle. Eventually, rescued from her despair by tall, dark and handsome George Rowley who fell in love her, Myrtle started a new life and had seven more children. She buried the grief of losing her first children deep within and kept her pain secret.

JB and her siblings were unaware of the existence of Myrtle's first three children until after she died. Desperate to know how such a thing could happen to a devoted and caring mother, JB went on a journey to find out. What she discovered was a heartbreaking story of loss.

It was a long time before JB was able to work out that her mother kept her early life and her first family secret out of misplaced guilt and shame. To redress that, JB decided to tell the whole world her mother's secret. Whisper My Secret is a proud declaration that Myrtle did nothing deserving of guilt or shame.

Book length is approximately 57 000 words.

Mother of Ten
, the sequel to Whisper My Secret, is now available and a box set of both books is also available.

*This figure includes copies downloaded during free promotions.


  • File Size: 575 KB
  • Print Length: 294 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: JB Rowley; 1 edition (January 15, 2014)
  • Publication Date: January 15, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JP88NA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray: Enabled
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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  1. Myrtle’s story lingered in my mind long after I finished reading her story. A woman of her times; she faced so many twists, turns and tragedies in her life, and did so with a rather stoic sense of bravery and courage. It is a story that gives us the flavour of local history, demonstrates the attitudes and social mores of its times with pinpoint accuracy, allows us to feel sympathy with Myrtle, as well as understanding how such events could possibly have unfolded. It left me feeling that all of us have a real story to share from somewhere within or families; a story as compelling as that of Myrtle. Prepare to read this book in one sitting!

  2. I love biographies and memoirs; to be be honest I prefer those about regular folks, not celebrities or other famous persons. I “borrowed” this from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. I can honestly, and sadly when I read again all the other glowing reviews, say that I feel I wasted my monthly borrowing opportunity. The story is heartwrenching, and the pain experienced comes through very clearly. The writing is good, and I enjoyed the story told. However, since the mother didn’t tell her children (anyone but her second husband?) the story of her former life, and one would not think that after her death there were others left to provide all the incredibly detailed background… How did the author get so much detail? If this book were defined differently, if there were a forward (unless I completely missed it on my Kindle- and it ‘s possible…) describing where the author got the incredibly detailed story of the interactions her mother had as a child, young woman, young bride and devastated young mother– perhaps I would not feel the sense of disappointment I did. I’m not suggesting it is not a worthy read, and my respect to the author for whom this touching story is her (obviously very loving and resilient mother’s) history, but if you have any expectation you are reading a true memoir, you may be disappointed. ** Edit: Rather than changing my original review text, I would like you to read the comment from the author and my subsequent reply to her kind post.**

  3. This book was haunting. I cannot imagine the journey the author made to discover the history of her life…an amazing journey I am thankful she invited us to take with her…why do some reviewers take it upon themselves to re-tell the story? If you are reading reviews you are considering purchasing the book…not hoping some reviewer takes it upon him/her self to give an account of the entire book. Publish your own book, then we can read your own story and review it!

  4. This was a heartwrenching book about Myrtle a young girl seduced by an older man (10 years her senior). This is back in the 40’s so they get married because she is pregnant. Myrtle is punished by her husband and his family because he married beneath him. After her third child, Henry wants to dump her for his longtime girlfriend, but his mother wants the babies. Because of her stature in society it’s like taking candy from a baby and Myrtle’s children are taken from her.

    After a while, she moves on and marries another man who is very good to her and has seven more children. She never tells her current children about their siblings and after her death they find out. The author investigates and tells Myrtle’s story.

    This is a well told story of Myrtle’s life and how she lost her babies. It reads like a novel but is true. I’m anxious to start the next book “Mother of 10”.

  5. You know, I did not shed one tear while reading this book. I go to write this review and the tears come. This is one of the most heartwarming stories I have read in a good long time. I applaud the author for being able to write this story with facts and letting the readers make up their own minds as to where their emotions will fall. That takes some strength.

    The story is well written, clear and touching in many ways. The characters are believable, and you so relate to Myrtle and what she went through. The setting is eastern Australia in New South Wales during the 1930’s – 1940’s.

    This was a time were propriety and outward appearances ruled. The face put forward was often one of lies for some people as with Mrs. John (Agnes) Bishop, AKA Ma Bishop. Ma Bishop was someone with a checkered past that very few people knew about, yet she felt the ability to chastise almost all others for not living the “good” life. I include this because at the last quarter of the book Myrtle’s mother vents on Ma Bishop in a style where you just HAVE to cheer her on!

    Myrtle fell in love with Henry Bishop at an early age and soon became pregnant. Myrtle’s mother, doing her duty in keeping with those times, went to Mr. & Mrs. Bishop to make their son marry her daughter. Myrtle spent the remainder of their time with Henry stuck in a loveless marriage with a pampered, self indulgent, egomaniacal Mommy’s Boy. It was not long before Henry took to cheating on Myrtle with the so called “family friend” Shirley.

    What went on from here is going to anger the reader, so I will leave this part for you to read. Henry asks Myrtle for a divorce stating she is an unfit mother, and she left his marriage bed. She didn’t and she wasn’t.Read more ›

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