A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles: Book One)
A well written, but painful shot of reality.I want to stick my head in the sand for a little bit longer!

North American society has fostered an idyllic image of love, marriage, a perfect life and happy ever after as an ultimate and achievable ideal. This book is a much more realistic reflection of life issues that are all too often very real.

Anne Jacobson and Sarah Anderson both thought they had achieved the happily ever dream; they married the “prince” and life should play out perfectly. But now they are both faced with difficult realities.

Sarah Anderson has two beautiful children and a husband,who at first, is driven to succeed so he can give his family the things he thinks they want. But Tom loses himself in his work and Sarah gets lost in motherhood and the relationship starves. Truthfully, this often happens in life.

The husband sidesteps his parental responsibilities ( changing dirty diapers, wiping snotty noses, cleaning up vomit, comforting a sick or just plain whiney child), and society justifies his actions and honours his hard work.

The wife and mother throws herself into her role wholeheartedly; that is considered doing her job. She gives and gives of herself until she is utterly depleted as a person. Very often the only people who recognize what is happening to her are the women who have walked in her shoes.

Sarah loves her children, but comes to resent that Tom is never there to carry his share of the load at home. Tom resents that she has lost herself and immersed herself totally in the children. They both grow numb and accept their roles. They carry on and the chasm between them widens. Neither one of them take a stand; life just carries on and each member of the family unit loses out on the basic benefits of a balanced relationship.

Anne and John are married and in love. They have both enjoyed their careers, but time has crept up on them. Now the only thing they need to complete the perfect picture is as child; actually children.

They have been trying to get pregnant for two years but that goal has been defeated by an unknown infertility problem. Anne becomes obsessed with the need to have a child. It takes over her life. She loses sight of the wonderful things she has. She talks of nothing else and everything she does is driven by her unanswered need to have a child. She sees herself as a biological failure and feels that John blames her.

In my opinion, John is very understanding and supportive of her need, but in time he feels that they have to accept reality. However, Anne will not concede to this cruel twist of fate. She is determined to carry on with her pursuit, even if it bankrupts them emotionally and financially.

When Anne finally is driven to her knees by one more failure to become pregnant she knows she cannot bear the pain anymore. She is devastated and she pushes John farther away.

I certainly did not condone John’s actions, but I did feel sorry for him. He did not set out to do more harm, but he made an irrevocable mistake, driven by his own pain, his own insecurities and the circumstances. John and Anne might have been able to work that problem out, if the result of it hadn’t shredded the last remnant of Anne’s self esteem, proving to her that she had been the defective link in their problem.

Berner exposed the raw pain and frustrations in Anne and Sarah’s lives. Almost any woman who has been in a serious relationship can sympathize with what is happening to both of them. Either of these two women could be us, our daughter, our sister, our best friend or our neighbour.

Different people have different challenges in life, and every one of them deals with their challenge in their own way. Berner made these people so real that I couldn’t help getting emotionally invested in them. For me this was not a “feel good” story.(I don’t believe in the fairy tale perfect version of relationships, but I am a happy endings person). As an “arm chair psychologist” I was saddened by the choices they made; the things they allowed to happen. Both scenarios could have ended so differently, but as often happens in real life, they didn’t.

For me this story was a well written shot of reality. I think we all need that once in a while. I would give this 4 stars for writing skills, but this book left me saddened;wanting something different. My God! How ironic is that!

You can follow Karen Wojcik Berner at  http://www.karenberner.com/biopress-roomcontact.html
Seriously this is a well written book and it is a healthy dose of reality! I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s my toast to you!