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A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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What I loved: the characters are beautifully drawn, the reader can totally relate to the pain and frustration of each woman, the whole "grass is always greener syndrome," as well as showing how silly the whole "Mommy wars" are.
What slowed me down: they aren't stories, per se, with a beginning, middle, and end, more a pastiche of these women's lives. And though they are connected via their shared readers' group, there isn't an "a-ha!" moment where each realizes the grass ISN'T greener on the other side.
An interesting debut book from an author I am sure will continue to offer interesting work as time goes on.
Karen Wojcik Berner's book A Whisper to a Scream was a very good book. The author has created a story which many women can relate to and the book covers many issues which can be quite painful for women: infertility, choosing carrier versus having a family, being a stay-at-home-mom, marriage problems. In enjoyed the writing style which was easy to read, the narrative and the characters.
Regarding the plot:
A Whisper to a Scream introduces the reader to two main characters who seem to come from totally different world: Sarah, who is staying at home with two small kids and Annie who has so far chosen the carrier and would finally love to have kids, but needs to deal with infertility issues.
The lives and portrays of these two women are drawn as the stories goes, the reader gets to know the details of both Annie's and Sarah's lives, problems, challenges. Before they meet with each other reader already knows what problems they are facing.
What I loved about the plot was the way Annie and Sarah meet and how they seem so different in the beginning: Sarah has everything what Annie needs, but cannot get and Annie has the freedom which Sarah has forgotten about. Through the story they realize it's all about choices and accepting the things that you cannot change and change the things you can.
I found the story was in one way heartbreaking and the other way heartwarming. I enjoyed their developing and the book was written in a way that made me feel for both women. I have never experienced personally what it means not to be able to get children, or what it means to stay at home with kids, but there were aspects from both women's life that I knew and that made it extra enjoyable. It was believable and taken out of the real life and that is the reason what made it a very good read for me.
Regarding the characters:
I loved the main characters, even though I have to admit there were times I wanted to shake them and bring them back to earth! I loved them and I was annoyed by them, but the things is and it is also what makes this book easy to relate to - the situations were taken out of real life! Many people have experienced problems and challenges with their marriage, many people know what it means to have in-laws who are different from you, and many people know how difficult it can be to find the balance in your life.
Annie is a woman who has always wanted to have children and when she is ready for family, she can't have what she wants. Infertility issues influence her life so much that she gets possessed about it. She forgets about the life around her and concentrates only about getting a baby. As mentioned above, I got so annoyed by her at times and couldn't wait until she realized that the only thing to is to accept the cruel facts. Even though I was annoyed by her, I loved her character. She was one heck of a determined woman.
Sarah is at first look very different from Annie - she has two kids already. Sarah is a woman who is so tired of being alone with kids. Yes, she loved her kids, but she is suffocated by the fact that her husband is never there to help her and that she does not have time for herself - it's all about kids and family.
The author did a fabulous job with the main characters and also with their families. I really enjoyed the lives of Annie and Sarah!
Be very careful what you wish for, you might get it... and not like it at all. Or you realize through the process, that the wish itself wasn't important, but the process itself and where the process leads you to.
I loved it and highly recommend A Whisper to a Scream to everybody who like contemporary literature!
I think that's what made A Whisper to a Scream really stand out to me is the relatability of the characters. I think as a woman (and for the most part this is a book that will appeal to women) no matter where you are at in life you will find something to relate to in both of these characters. Annie and Sarah are very real. They face hardships. They have ups, they have downs, they learn to celebrate the good and deal with the bad most of the time. I loved them. At times I wanted to strangle them but then I understood them. I always came back to understanding them, and then I always came back to loving them. Ms. Berner creates and brings to life wonderful characters and this is her strong suit in writing. Her characters were amazing to me.
Did I have some issues with the book, yes I did, but it didn't spoil my overall love of the book for it's characters. I will eagerly await the second in this series so I can see more of the characters and hopefully get to know more of The Bibliophiles (I'm guessing that is the intent of the series). One of my issues was that some things were paced wonderfully and then things were hurried up and tied up too quickly (or what I thought was too quickly). I wished that it was just a little more evenly paced plot-wise. Another issue I had was jumping around a bit between some of the minor characters. I liked learning about them, but sometimes it left me confused about who it was and why it would be important to the story. I liked having the back story, but by the end, I wished some of that space could have been used to pace the main stories out a little better. That said, again the characterizations are Ms. Berner's strong suit so these back stories really stand out and are memorable even if I had to ask myself who that character was in the framework of the story (who he or she was related to). I also wish I could have seen just a little more of the book club together, but that is a small wish and minor to things overall. These are all personal preferences and really minor in the scheme of how the book was to me and things that only came up after reading the book. While I read the book, I only had complete enjoyment and just kept thinking that I could relate to both women so well.
Overall this book was very much worth my time and yours if you enjoy novels that revolve around the characters. This isn't a happy-go-lucky novel, Sarah and Annie have tough issues to deal with, but in the end I like how they do it. I like that the book club brings them together. I read this book on New Year's Day and it was a great way to spend my afternoon. I went through some emotions but came out feeling happy not drained and eager to see what happens next for The Bibliophiles. I think A Whisper to a Scream is a good start for Karen Wojcik Berner and I'm interested to see where her writing takes her next.
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