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 Christmas of relatives asking when they will be hearing the pitter patter 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 the 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.
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About the Author:
Karen Berner is a journalist and former magazine editor who knew she was destined for fiction at an early age with the production of her cardboard-bound classic, “The Car,” which chronicled the heartfelt struggle of an eight-year-old dealing with the sale of Betsy, the family Chevrolet. Although beautifully illustrated in crayon, it sold only one copy.
Many years later, Karen dabbled in fiction again, earning a double major in English and communication arts and sciences, only to realize money was required for survival in society, particularly an amount that gets one out of her parent’s house.
Shortly after the birth of her second son, the character of Sarah, the invisible mom, intruded Karen’s thoughts during a shower, which was really quite rude considering it was the only five minutes the poor woman had to herself for the entire day, with a newborn baby and five year old to take care of. Soon after, Annie came to her in a particularly vivid dream. Back in the shower, Karen could not help but wonder what would happen if Sarah and Annie met? She delved into "A Whisper to a Scream" and has been writing fiction ever since.
A Whisper to a Scream takes us on a roller coaster ride of emotions. This tale of two women, one already a mother and one who desperately wants to become a mother, accurately depicts the raw human emotion that comes with the prospect of becoming a parent. My heart ached for both Annie and Sarah as the course of their lives was altered by cruel fate. I admired the strength they showed despite everything they encountered. They both proved that what does not kill us truly does make us stronger. Karen's writing is smooth and entertaining, leading the reader right to the heart of the story. Her words tell us of the true strength of the human spirit.
Reviewed by Dawn Judd at Thursday, April 01, 2010