Jennifer S. Brown


The Whisper Sister

The streets of New York in 1920 are most certainly not paved with gold, as Minnie Soffer learns when she arrives at Ellis Island.

Her father, who left Ukraine when Minnie was a toddler, is a stranger. She sleeps on a mattress on the kitchen floor. She understands nothing at school. They came to America for this?

As her family adjusts to this new life, Minnie and her brother work hard to learn English and make friends. When her father, Ike, opens his own soda shop, stability and citizenship seem within reach. But the soda shop is not what it seems; it’s a front for Ike’s real moneymaker: a speakeasy.

When tragedy strikes the Soffers, Minnie has no choice but to take over the bar. She’s determined to make the speakeasy a success despite the risks it brings to herself, her family, and her freedom. At what price does the American dream come true? Minnie won’t stop until she finds out.


“Early on in this effervescent, compulsively readable novel, Minnie Soffer’s mother tells her, ‘In America, you do what you do to get by.’ … a story familiar to millions of immigrants, and a story that stays with you long after you have turned the last page.” —Peter Golden, author of Nothing Is Forgotten

“Readers will laugh, cry and root for feisty Minnie, a heroine for all time! Brown’s latest dazzles!” —Pam Jenoff, NYT bestselling Author of Code Name Sapphire

“A powerful story about the losses we endure when carving out a new life in America and the transformative force of unwavering resolve. As Minnie navigates her path of survival amidst tragedy in New York’s prohibition-era, she finds home and belonging not in a place but in her connection to those she loves. A testament to the power of one woman’s strength and the legacy and sanctuary she ends up building in her community.” —Marjan Kamali, author of The Stationery Shop and The Lion Women of Tehran

“Don’t let the title fool you: Jennifer S. Brown’s latest is anything but quiet. From New York City’s crowded tenements to its supper clubs and secret speakeasies, The Whisper Sister takes readers on a heart-stopping journey of lies, passion, and shocking betrayal… Packed with tragic twists and stunning surprises, this Prohibition era saga will have readers drunk on Jennifer S. Brown’s talent.” —Lynda Cohen Loigman, bestselling author of The Two-Family House

“…a transportive, page-turning feminist story about a woman who finds courage and strength behind the bar of her Lower East Side speakeasy in the dangerous and turbulent world of prohibition-era New York City… Beautifully written, historically rich and skillfully rendered, Brown’s story kept me rapt from the first page all the way to the deeply satisfying ending. Raise a glass to Jennifer S. Brown for sharing the world of The Whisper Sister with us. I will think of this novel every time I sip a cocktail from now on.” —Louise Miller, author of The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living

“I loved every word of this captivating page-turner! The Whisper Sister kept me awake well past bedtime, melding and bringing alive prohibition, gangster kings, and speakeasies with the riveting story of Minnie Soffer, a young immigrant facing peril in New York who lands behind the bar of the speakeasy, trying to save her family. Minnie grabbed my heart and never let go.” —Randy Susan Meyers, internationally bestselling author of Waisted

“Jennifer S. Brown’s The Whisper Sister delivers an explosive blend of emotion and history, capturing the heart of an era and the soul of its heroine with sheer brilliance. This is more than a story about Prohibition or the immigrant experience; it’s a celebration of resilience and a testament to the strength of the human heart.” —Crystal King, author of In The Garden of Monsters and Feast of Sorrow
“Like a well-mixed cocktail, Jennifer Brown’s The Whisper Sister offers up a delicious blend of Prohibition-era history and intimate family drama. The novel’s heroine, Minnie Soffer, is forced by personal tragedy to take over her father’s speakeasy—and determined to make it a success at any cost, even if it means giving up her own dreams of a secure life in America.  Fun, fascinating, well-researched, and action-packed, this is a must-read for all historical fiction fans.” Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light 
“Literature often portrays the 1920s as an era of Gatsby-like opulence. Jennifer S. Brown’s The Whisper Sister masterfully shows other side: the newly arrived immigrant experience of America in the 1920s. Minnie’s rise from Yiddish-speaking Ukrainian to American girl who eventually takes over and transforms her father’s speakeasy while taking on the leaders of an organized crime syndicate will enchant readers. Read this one with tissues because Brown’s characters are so real that you will feel their pain and victories as your own, and they will stay with you long after you finish reading this absolute gem of a novel.”  Sara Goodman Confino, bestselling author of Don’t Forget to Write and She’s Up to No Good
“The Whisper Sister immerses you in the world of Prohibition-era New York City, in both its beauty and its ugliness, its excitement and its danger. Jennifer S. Brown’s deft prose brings the past alive like few writers can. I mourned Minnie’s heartbreaks and toasted her successes as if they were my own. Historical fiction fans will find this an utterly captivating read.” Sarah James, bestselling author of Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen



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