I was definately drawn to this book by it's cover.

I was intrigued by the title Listen, (it got my attention). I had just finished reading Never the Bride that Rene Gutteridge write with Cheryl McKay. So, it was a combination of things that compelled me to read this book.

I really couldn’t tell what the book was about by its cover but I wanted to find out. I read this book in a few days I couldn’t put it down and had to tell others about it when I finished. The ladies in my book club voted on having this be our August book club pick.

Our group talked to Rene Gutteridge a few weeks ago (at book club) about this book and how she got the idea for it. She said that she was at a party and over heard a heated conversation between a husband and wife over a baby monitor. They must have not realized that the monitor was one and horrible things were said. It was at that time Rene pondered the affects of words, those spoken to one another and those spread through gossip about others.

There was a pretty dark scene in the prologue of this book about a teen girl who is deeply affected by the words of others, so much so she is planning to kill herself. She's believed the lies people have spoken about her. The book doesn’t go any darker than that but really makes the reader think about the words we say, type and ponder. It will help you recognize the lies we take in our mind and beat ourselves up with, this is definitely one book you can’t help but talk about. It’s powerful, suspenseful, and a mystery. The ladies in my book club loved it. There was lively discussion for sure. I highly recommend reading, Listen. It was a great book club pick too.

By Rene Gutteridge
Published by: Tyndale
ISBN# 978-1-74143-2433-3
432 Pages

Back Cover: Nothing ever happens in the small town of Marlo . . . until the residents begin seeing their private conversations posted online for everyone to read. Then its neighbor against neighbor, friend against friend, as paranoia and violence escalate. The police scramble to identify the person responsible for the posts and pull the plug on the Website before it destroys the town. But what responsibility do the people of the town have for the words they say when they think no one is listening? Life and death are in the power of the tongue.

REVIEW: One of Rene’s characters says, “Do the words we speak have any power over us...or someone else?”

Rene Gutteridge has penned a modern day story depicting the ramifications of words! Reading the effect is staggering! Words spoken in private become public. How? Through a website called The town is coming undone from the inside out as private conversations are made public each day.

In the book of James, found in the bible it states--(words) “the tongue is but a tiny spark that can set a great forest on fire.” Do words really have that much power? Read Listen, for your answer. The city of Marlo was the ideal place to live. It was a place where “society and family joined in marriage. It was safe enough for kids to play in the front yard, clean enough, you could get top dollar for your real estate.” Words changed this little town forever in the most interesting and scary way!

Renee made me really ponder the effect of words. How they affect everyone we meet. I think about words flying out of my mouth differently since I’ve read this book. Words I’ve spoken to my children, husband, co-workers...even people I don’t know.

I loved reading about, and was a little horrified to discover, the latest computer gadgets and what they can do. Trust is a huge factor when using the internet and interacting with others. How do we keep each other accountable? Renee touches on this subject too.

Words can be like a worm-virus—eating away at people and the very heart of this once calm, peaceful, loving town! Can anything be done to save it and the families that live there? Not only is the message of this book powerful, Rene, weaves quite the suspenseful, page turning story you’ll stay up late reading to find out who done it? Why? Listen is a keeper! Never underestimate the power of words. This book is a must read. I’m glad I am received a review copy.

Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network


  1. That is a really great cover!

  2. Thanks for this review. I think that this would be a great book to read and share with others.