Dana Provo has always loved books and reads everything from young adult fantasy to adult historical romances. When she’s not reading or writing her next novel, Dana can be found riding her horses and getting ready for competition. Dana lives with her husband and two house plants in Richmond, Virginia.
Whisper is a young adult, science fiction novel set in the year 2175.
Ever Plumley’s teenage life strictly consists of caring for her home and preparing meals for the family while her father and brother pursue careers to provide for the household. Raised without women’s rights, and with the notion of marriage by twenty-one, she rebels against her preplanned life. However, when the world around her starts to perish from bombings and terrorist attacks, Ever is called upon into the first Women’s Draft. While in training, she makes decisions against her better judgment and has to live with the consequences.
Excerpt from Chapter 1:
“I’d like Ever to come up front please.” Nile finds me in the sea of people and calls me with his eyes. His smile sickens me just as much as all the looks on people’s faces when they notice I’m not wearing any shoes. I plaster a sinister grin on my face, happy I could disappoint the people close to my mother, and walk through the staring people. Having them all look at me stirs a disappointment inside of me that I’m not used to experiencing. I don’t like them judging me like I’m the next project bride or the homeless person that lives on the corner.
I move quietly on the hardwood floors, staring straight ahead. Nile’s grin widens as I get closer and before I can stand in front of him, Mother embraces me. Her boney hands dig into my shoulders as she grips me.
She leans closer and whispers in my ear, “Don’t embarrass me.”
I push myself away, afraid of what she means. The quizzical expression painted on my face vanishes quickly by the stern look she throws my way.
“Ever,” Nile says, holding his hand out for me. “Since the sixth grade I knew you were the one for me. We are meant to be together. I can see it in your face every time you look at me and know that you are the one I want to be with forever.” Nile drops down on one knee, and my heart drops into my stomach. The moisture in my mouth disappears. I can’t breathe. There’s no way this is happening to me right now. This must be a dream.
I drop my head, eyes watering from humiliation, yet Nile thinks they are happy tears. He smiles and reaches into his pocket, pulling out a small black box. As he opens the lid, I have to choke back a sob. I yank my hand out of his and cover my mouth. I’m afraid to speak out loud and have it come out in blubbering nonsense.
“Ever Amelia Plumley, will you marry me?” And there it is, the question I have always dreaded. I will be the next project bride of the block, the next woman sucked into this life of domestication, the next depressed person in the community. That’s what mother meant when she told me not to embarrass her. She knew he was going to propose and warned me that if I didn’t say yes, that her life would be over. That is the secret meaning hidden in her words. I am just a puppet in my parents’ lives—I do what they say, always, no matter how much I want to get out.
The room starts to spin. Nile waits on his knee for my answer as I stare at the hopeful faces that surround us. The women in the room want me to get married so they have something to do with their pathetic lives. I have no say in what happens with my life.
None at all.
“Ever?” Nile places his hand on my waist, drawing my attention back to him. My eyes are so clouded by tears, it’s hard to see what he looks like at the moment. I can picture his mousy brown hair and dark blue eyes staring hopefully at me from the floor in my mind. I can picture him waiting all night to ask me this question, but I’m going to break his heart. I don’t know if I have enough power to put myself through something I don’t want.