A Whisper in the Dark

Read by LibriVox Volunteers

(3.2 stars; 12 reviews)

A Whisper in the Dark was published anonymously in 1877 and again in 1889, this time attributed to Louisa May Alcott, along with A Modern Mephistopheles. This story is a far cry from Alcott’s usual light fare for children. It’s a dark and melodramatic tale about Sybil, a young girl of seventeen, an orphan under the guardianship of her uncle and raised by a “Madame Bernard,” who is kind but tells her little of her origins. She slowly pieces together the truth, falling in love along the way but, after a misunderstanding, is imprisoned and nearly driven mad. This sensational novella is likely an example of the kind of story that Alcott’s Little Women character Jo March pumps out to buy “comforts for” the March family until she comes to her senses and burns all the manuscripts, realizing that they “are trash, … each … more sensational than the last.” - Summary by Winnifred Assmann (1 hr 50 min)


Section 1 23:02 Read by Christine Rottger
Section 2 19:31 Read by Martha H. Weller
Section 3 27:44 Read by Martha H. Weller
Section 4 21:01 Read by Timbray Shafer
Section 5 19:24 Read by Timbray Shafer


(1 stars)

While I like this story, this rendering should never have been posted. First, the reader was changed midstream. While that was bad enough, the second reader failed to pronounce Guy's name the same, definitely causing distraction from the tale. I get that something may have come up to render the necessity of the change in readers. That being the case, the second reader should have at least made themselves aquatinted with the style and pronunciations used by the first reader. Recommend next time that the recording be redone by one reader, even if it has to be started over, or encourage someone taking over the project to pre-listen to some of the pre-recorded material to better render the rest.

(1 stars)

This must have been one of Alcott's early writings. It had no good morals and isn't suitable for young listeners.