Annabel Cross, nicknamed Ghost, hasn’t spoken a word since she witnessed Granny’s brutal murder two years earlier. However, at 15, Ghost has found a kind of peace at a foster home on a farm with other unwanted teens, including her closest friend Tully, who has dwarfism. But Graydon Fox arrives and Ghost falls hard for his good looks and intriguing combination of vulnerability and aloofness.

When Ghost’s mother is released from a drug rehab centre, she moves clear across the country to begin a new life—without Ghost. Devastated by her mother’s betrayal, Ghost overlooks Tully and turns to Graydon, meeting him nightly in the hayloft after curfew. One night the stable catches fire and, worried she’ll be blamed, Ghost agrees to run away with Graydon. While they flee along a dark stretch of road, a car pulls up and the driver, Cooper, offers them a ride. Cooper gives Ghost and Graydon refuge in his city apartment, but his offer comes at a price. After she realizes how Cooper expects her to earn her keep, and Graydon’s role in the plot, she has little choice. Rather than remain in the apartment as a sex slave, she must run and risk her life surviving on Ottawa’s streets in winter, mute and alone.

VOICELESS (Thistledown Press, 2012) is a young adult novel.

Review Excerpts:

From SPG Book Reviews, review by Justin Dittrick

“Caroline Wissing’s stunning young adult novel, Voiceless, is narrated by Annabel, who was placed in foster care at Noble Spirit Farm. As the witness of a traumatic event, she has lost the ability to speak and must convey her thoughts and feelings with signs and emotional expression.

…Wissing is a very talented storyteller who demonstrates a knack for intertwining the past and the present. As a result, the novel reads beautifully, with every gesture, every moment, seeming to be gently lifted from time and impeccably preserved. The novel is well-balanced, the tone remarkably even, and the characters fully human and alive under Wissing’s seasoned touch. Voiceless is bittersweet, memorable, and true.”

Read the full review here.

From University of Manitoba’s CM Magazine, Volume XVIII Number 37, May 25, 2012, review by Ann Ketcheson ****/4

Voiceless is Caroline Wissing’s first novel, and her portrayal of Ghost is one which will leave a long-lasting impression on young adult readers.

…Wissing has used settings with which she is familiar, and so both the horse farm/foster home and the downtown core of Ottawa ring true. Within the city, Ghost is exposed not only to the wealth and prosperity of the national capital but also to the seedy street life which is part of any city.

…Despite these darker moments in the novel, Wissing has essentially created a book of both hope and inspiration. Ghost, in her own way, eventually comes to grips with what has happened to her and, when she has to, is able to take control of events and begin to slowly but surely shape her life into something to be proud of. Readers will applaud her grit and determination.

Voiceless, right from the image on the front cover, will appeal to female young adult readers. Ghost is tough and pragmatic and a remarkable young woman who eventually regains not only her voice but her ability to determine where she will go and what she will do, thus being voiceless no longer. Brava!

Highly Recommended.”

Read the full review here.

From CanLit for LittleCanadians: Promoting children’s and YA books by Canadian authors and illustrators, May 24, 2012

Voiceless provides greater messages, offering the reader the evidence that voicelessness (or blindness or paraplegia or any other disability) is not in itself the tragedy. The tragedy is in the context.  Ghost may be voiceless but she is substantive and never stronger than when she is voiceless.

Read the full review here.

Further Praise for Voiceless:

“I would give this book, Voiceless, 10 stars. It is a story that pulled on my heart strings. I thought that could have been my daughter or my granddaughters, but for the grace of God. Who knows how many Ghosts are out there needing a hand up and just a little love from someone. I hope there are many more Mary and Bobbys out there to find them.”

~ by C. on Goodreads

“The maturity of Wissing’s lyrical prose boosts it beyond its market of YA…to that of literary. But it’s a story with mass appeal. It’s a unique combination when a story can transcend its niche and crossover into multiple categories of interest. I think Voiceless does this. Though written for the young adult audience, it would certainly speak to any reader who picks it up. This is a book you will want to read. I guarantee satisfaction.”

~ by Kevin on Goodreads

“This poignant tale of a teenaged girl, who has experienced hardship and heartache, begins at her foster home where she lives with an intriguing mix of characters. As you follow the main character, nicknamed Ghost, throughout her journey, you can’t help being drawn into her captivating and often heartbreaking story. Ultimately, Ghost’s struggle to overcome adversity with courage and determination will inspire readers. The author, Caroline Wissing, has described every nuance to perfection and with refreshing originality. A must-read book!”

~ by itsjustus on Amazon Canada

“This is a heart-wrenching story told in beautiful prose and experienced through complex and intriguing characters. Classified as a Young Adult book, I believe Voiceless will deeply satisfy readers of all ages and both genders. As an adult, it will remind you of how tumultuous adolescence is, and show you the dark alleyways of the world that surrounds us. Too often we look away from the disturbing and harsh reality the street people of our cities endure because we feel so helpless to fix it. Ghost, a fifteen-year-old runaway, faces this underworld–along with her personal demons–with the kind of grit and determination you’ll leave this story admiring and striving to find within yourself. A touching story from Caroline Wissing, an author destined to reveal the intricacies of humanity with grace and candour. Her characters inspire us to face the world with perseverance and hope.”

~ by kellysjean on Amazon Canada