Friday 29 November 2019

Book review : Whispers of Hope - Charlie Albert

Whispers of Hope is a collection of six short stories, told by Charlie Albert, from his experiences helping desperate single parents go through the courts to settle issues relating to their children. They are all based on true stories, but names and other details may have been changed to respect people's privacy. Charlie is not a lawyer - he is a parent who struggled to secure residency of his own son and who decided to deepen his knowledge of the family court to help others gain access to their children. He has since successfully assisted over 400 people in family law cases.

The stories, although very different, all relate a similar tale. In most of them, couples have split up, for whatever reasons, and rather than putting the welfare and happiness of their children in prime position, they end up using their offspring as a pawn in the game, trying to add extra hurt or extract more money from their former partner. It is very sad but unfortunately not at all hard to believe that couples will resort to such bitter and angry games.

But there is worse to come. Accusations of anything from attempted suicide to rape and domestic violence are also often thrown into the fray and Charlie has to sift through documents, looking for evidence of sneaky goings-on and just plain lies. Some of the devious behaviour, from making up untrue stories to sneaking off with the kids, is truly despicable and Charlie presents the parents on the other side as despicable, worthless people. Although I can understand this, as he is working for his clients and trying to show everyone how bad the spouses are, I did find the presentations to be a bit too one-sided. Maybe I'm just too hopeful that parents would never really be as ruthless and deceitful as they frequently appear to be in these cases.

Charlie is a down-to-earth straight-talker, so there is the odd swear word (literally just one or two uses of f***) and some of his descriptions lack a little finesse - the example of him describing his then girlfriend gives an idea : "That is not to say that I have ever been so pompous as to lay claim to a penchant for a particular type of woman, but those who know me will attest to my preferring a bit of meat on the bones of a companion, rather than someone who looks like they had been caught up in the holocaust and needed a good fry up." 

The stories are designed to give hope to warring parents, showing that however hopeless their own situation may seem, others have gone before and come out on top. Charlie says, "I hope these stories give comfort and the reassurance that there is light at the end of every tunnel." If you're not in the midst of a hostile divorce, they will also remind you to be grateful for small mercies because your own situation is undoubtedly a lot easier to deal with than the ones presented in the book.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £7.99


  1. I was a single parent at one time, so would be interested to read other peoples stories on how they coped

  2. A great review - one ill be reading soon

  3. That description of the girlfriend is rather crass. I imagine there's all sorts of lies and accusations when there's a bitter separation, and children are used as a weapon to hurt their ex.

    1. Yes, it is sad to read, knowing that these are real-life scenarios and that the kids went through so much - innocent victims caught up in their parents' games :-/


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...