Speak Softly, She Can Hear Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Speak Softly, She Can Hear

Carole Mason and her best friend Naomi make an agreement to both lose their virginity before they graduate from the prestigious Spence School in New York City, in 1965. When they are in Vermont on a ski vacation, Naomi sets things up for Carole to meet with Eddie, a 26 year old actor and college drop-out. Carole gets what she wanted, having sex with Eddie, but never expected Rita Boudreau to enter the scene. Rita unexpectedly dies after having sex with Eddie.
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He blames the result on Carole being overweight, the bed not having enough room for the three of them and Carole being drunk and not remembering what exactly happened. Carole being a typical, normally well-behaved, quiet teenager panics and leaves early from the ski trip in Vermont. Her life is never the same again.

Carole, an only child, is the love of her parents life. They had moved to the city from Ridgewood, New Jersey, seeking a better life. Their dream for their daughter is for her to attend Vassar. Things change for Carole once she is home from the ski trip. Carole used to tell her mother everything, now the lies come quickly and easily. Carole panics when Rita Boudreau's wallet shows up in her borrowed parka and even skips school once while trying to confront Eddie. Eddie won't go away, and tortures Carole by telling her about meeting her mother on the street. Eddie follows her to Vassar, finds her in California, and Vermont. Her mother dies of a heart attack. Her father tries to resolve their differences but Carole is still fearful of her secret, runs away.

Ten years later, Carole ends up once again in Vermont. She is there because of her friend Rachel, and husband Morgan. Carole meets the love of her life, Will Burbank, in her restaurant. Life seems normal until Naomi calls Carole and leaves a message saying she is moving to Vermont. Carole goes to a Spence reunion trying to convince Naomi to stay far away. Once Naomi pushes her way into Carole's circle of friends, Eddie shows up. Carole finally tells Will what happened to her so many years ago. Will tells her that she was not the one responsible. Eddie dies but not before inflicting physical pain on Carole. However the emotional pain was far worse for her. She and Will survive, Naomi does not. In the end, Carole manages to reconnect with her father.

The review of this Book prepared by Nancy Larrabee

Chapter Analysis of Speak Softly, She Can Hear

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   depressed Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   actions leading to death of someone Crime & Police story    -   Yes Story of    -   blackmail/seduction Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   8 () United States    -   Yes City?    -   Yes Small town?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Pam Lewis Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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