A Whisper to a Scream
Karen Wojcik Berner
Ovulation detectors. Hormone surges. Anxiety-ridden dreams. This is the world in which Annie Jacobs is thrust when she and her husband John receive a diagnosis of unexplained infertility. A 37-year old PR executive, Annie has wanted to be a mother since she first cuddled her Baby Tenderlove at age five. She is dreading another of relatives asking when they will be hearing the of little feet, and Uncle Joe slapping John on the back, telling him to relax and take a cruise. Lots of people get pregnant on vacation, you know.
Across town, stay-at-home mom of two, Sarah Anderson, attempts grocery shopping with a toddler intent on hurling items from the cart at passersby. She notices a box of rice heading straight for a pink-babushkaed head. Leaping across the aisle, Sarah grabs it, saving the woman from certain doom, or at least a minor head injury. Little Alex screams at being thwarted. The unknowing octogenarian shakes her head and admonishes Sarah for not knowing how to keep her child quiet in public.
"A Whisper to a Scream" is a story of two women on opposite ends of the child-bearing spectrum who come to realize the grass is not necessarily greener on the other side of the fence. A vivid portrayal of contemporary marriage and its problems, the novel speaks to a longing in all of us, a yearning that might start as a vague notion, but eventually grows into an unbearable, vociferous cry.
4.0 out of 5 stars Very realistic story, August 3, 2010
By Tiffany Harkleroad "Tiffanys Bookshelf" (Kittanning PA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Whisper to a Scream (Kindle Edition)
Sarah is a stay at home mother to two young children, dealing with a somewhat absentee husband. Annie is a career woman, longing for motherhood but struggling with infertility. Both seem to long for what the other has, without even realizing it. The two women cross paths at a local book club, and we get to see the journey each woman goes on over the course of several months. Neither is fully prepared for where she will end up.
Quite an intriguing little book this is. It has been on my to read list for a month, and I read it basically in one day. It was hard to stray from it once I started, because I wanted to see what each woman was going to encounter next. I loved the two main characters of Sarah and Annie. I felt a little bit like a peeping tom, because we see these women in their most raw, real moments in life. They talk like real women. Their struggles are ones we relate to as women.
Sarah's story is one I see echoed in the lives of so many mothers that I know. When reading her portions of the story, I could literally feel her frustration and resentment leaping from the page. And with Annie, well, Annie's story is sort of my biggest fear in life, so it most definitely resounded.
What I like most about this book is that, while it lacks a conventional "happy ending" revolving around perfect partners and storybook romances, each woman finds her own version of happiness and purpose. I believe that is a lesson so many women need to learn these days.
A bit of a warning, when I first saw the title of the book, I expected an action packed mystery thriller, which it is most certainly not. But that is not to say the book is slow or lacks anything. If anything, when I finished the book, I was impressed with how real the storyline was. Nothing overly dramatic. Just the lives of two women, so similar to women we all know. I think that is ultimately why I liked the book so well. It was less like reading a book, and more like talking to two old college friends.
Karen Wojcik Berner has been a writer/editor for 25 years. A two-time Ozzie Award winner, her work has appeared in “The Chicago Tribune,” as well as several magazines and newspapers. Her first novel, “A Whisper to a Scream,” is available on amazon.com in the Kindle store.
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