…And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso is so many things: at times a personal memoir, at others a social and cultural commentary; it sometimes reads like a relationship advice column, and yet it is also a dramatic story with an extremely moving and emotional ending. In telling her family’s story of love and loss, Micki provides an in-depth look into her personal life that is framed by the cultural backdrop of the times, so that her story becomes as impressive and as important to the reader as events such as the assassination of Present Kennedy.
Micki begins her tale with a prologue that captures the reader’s attention and immediately causes her to start asking questions as to what has transpired. The first scene is of a mother dealing with the reality that her daughter has been in a serious, and probably fatal, accident—with her husband five hours away and the doctors urging her to accept defeat. The horror of the emergency room is juxtaposed in the next chapter with Micki’s wedding 22 years earlier to the love of her life. As her tale continues, the terror of the present is dispersed throughout a retelling of the past. Micki recounts her elopement to Butch and her mother’s subsequent move to Florida. She tells of her happiness in marrying Butch, but that his parents did not approve because she was not Catholic and, therefore, their baby was illegitimate. Because they had to stay with Butch’s parents, Micki tells of how she went through a four-week Catholic indoctrination in order to marry Butch in a “real ceremony.” The first touch of humor enters the story when Micki confesses to sending the priest to a rest home for frazzled priests after dealing with her religious debates.
The book continues in this fashion: Micki tells her family’s history, interspersed with humor, cultural commentary, and personal opinions while constantly reminding the reader that the focus of the tale is her daughter who is hovering between this life and the next and how the family deals with this situation and its aftermath. Micki tells the reader that as she sits in the ICU, she is “grabbing onto the past in an effort to block out the future.”
From the get-go, Micki’s honesty about herself and her family is refreshing and leads the reader to truly care for the people she writes about. Throughout the book, the reader will laugh, cry, yell in anger, and sometimes cry out a righteous “amen, sister!” Her story is so detailed and told with such emotion that by the end of the novel, the reader feels as if she is part of her family and dealing with the same emotions. She definitely keeps her promise…
And The Whippoorwill Sang
Light Sword Publishing