Jan 10, 2013

Book Review: A Whisper to a Scream by Karen Wojcik Berner

new cover

Title: A Whisper to a Scream (The Bibliophiles, Book One) by Karen Wojcik Berner
Published June 14, 2011
Genre: contemporary women's fiction
Rating: 4.5/5

A realistic story of two very different women whose paths cross at a Classics Book Club meeting. They seem to be polar opposites. Sarah is a stay-at-home mom looking after two young sons and a too busy husband, keeping family and home together, frustrated that she has no spare time for herself. Anne is a successful public relations executive who delayed having children to further her career, only to find at around age 40 that she and her husband John are diagnosed with "unexplained infertility," and in vitro, artificial insemination, and other technologies are not working for them to have the children they now so desperately want.

The two women meet at the book club gathering, a break from household duties for Sarah. Anne finds it hard to understand Sarah's exasperation being a busy mother and homemaker, something Anne now dreams about.  How things turn out for them is the crux of the novel. When all is said and done, the Classics Book Club helps get them away from their problems, even for a while, and keeps them connected.

I could easily imagine I was reading non-fiction, so well drawn were the characters in the book. With fluid prose and realistic dialogue, the novel is as much a psychological study as a novel about contemporary marriage - the daily demands of raising a family, career versus children, infertility, infidelity, extended family, and hobbies outside of work and home.

I like the idea of having a series of books built around a Classics Book Club. This is the first of the author's planned six books exploring the lives of various book club members, the Bibliophiles. The second book in the series is Until My Soul Gets It Right, published May 22, 2012.

A Whisper to a Scream is as good and in some cases better than many of the contemporary women's fiction novels I've read recently, and I say this without bias.

Thanks to the author for sending an ebook for review.

Karen Wojcik Berner grew up on the outskirts of Chicago. After graduating from Dominican University with degrees in English with a writing concentration and communications, she worked as a magazine editor, public relations coordinator and freelance writer. A two-time Folio Magazine Ozzie Award for Excellence in Magazine Editorial and Design winner, her work also has appeared in countless newspapers and magazines. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her family.


  1. This sounds excellent, and I am leaving this site to go look for it at Amazon as soon as I finish commenting. I also love the idea of a series of books based on the different members of a book club. It sounds like the perfect read for me, and I am glad that you loved it so much! Very rewarding review today! I can't wait to get to it!

  2. Sounds like a great series. I enjoy books that deal with womens issues and family.
    Great post!

  3. I'm totally hooked on the idea of using a bookgroup as the backdrop for the women's lives!! Sounds pretty good to me!

  4. By the title it sounds like the chilling read:)

  5. Indeed it is great idea to set a series among book club members. One might fear however, that such books could be a little trite but based on your comments it sounds like Berne really created depth in this book.

  6. Another interesting find Harvee! Thanks for the review.

  7. I love the idea for the series and the friendship between the women speaks to me right now :) Thanks for the recommendation.


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