||Jan 10, 2008
This is a funny, poignant, sad, true story of a large family of eight. It's full of adventure, a haunted home, comedic antics and a wonderful life-- until tragedy strikes in the placid valley of the Susquehanna Mountains. One of the six children is struck down by a drunk driver and the mother recounts the story through flashbacks in the ICU of the hospital, awaiting the fate of her child. The family embarks upon a journey to the other side of grief as they learn . . .To Weep, To Laugh, To Grieve, to Dance, as the whippoorwill sang.
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This memoir opens with eloping teenagers, Micki and Butch, in a bizarre double ceremony with Micki's mother. the couple share wonderfully comical escapades spanning decades, until tragedy strikes.
There has been a terrible accident in the placid valley nestled in the Susquehanna Mountains in th etown of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. It occurs just blocks from the family's hunmdred year old haunted farmhouse, on a country lane.
Micki narrates happier days, using their delightfulpast to confront an uncertain future--as the family copes with fear and apprehension. Pne of her six children is fighting for her life in the hospital: in a semi-coma, hovering between this world and the next. The family embarls upon its unbearable journey to the other side of grief ans grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin . . .to weep to laugh to grieve to dance. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang
Butch bought a bright red canoe that summer. Since working out of State, we did more family things than when he’d worked in town. He tied the canoe to the top of the station wagon. I packed an ice chest of picnic food and blankets and off we headed to the Susquehanna River. The boys explored the woods while I dangled my feet off the small pier on the river bank. The girls, afraid of fish nibbling at their toes, passed on that. Butch managed to convince me to take a ride with him across the width of the river. I couldn’t swim and we had no life jackets. I climbed into the tippy canoe as he paddled across—the canoe rocking from side to side. The river whispered a serenity which belied its treacherous steep drops and swirling eddies. One trip was enough for me. Some experiences don’t warrant repeating.
Butch and the boys paddled all the way to the rapids near the bridge. I paced the riverbank watching for their safe return.
He then took the three younger girls out, but stayed close to the shoreline. Butch was calling out to those paddling, “stroke, stroke,” when Noelle decided she wanted to stand up.
“No,” her dad said. “You can’t stand up in a canoe.”
“Yes, I can. Watch me.” Noelle said.
I stood on the pier, horrified, watching as the canoe capsized and they all went under. All I could see was splashing around the overturned canoe—and then a small figure literally “walking on water” as fast as her legs could carry her to shore. I only knew of one other being that walked on water, but that day, I swear that Nicole was upright all the way till she reached land.
Kelly and Noelle insisted they could climb back into the canoe that Butch had righted.
“You’ll never be able to climb back into a canoe from deep water,” he told them.
Noelle felt a fish brush her backside. Then Kelly felt something touch her legs.They both screamed and launched themselves back into the canoe. The biggest calamity of the day, besides aging me ten years, was the loss of Noelle’s cool new sunglasses.
“Wanna take another ride with me?” Butch asked.
. . . AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG
For those of you who could never
imagine having to say good-bye to a
special loved one, especially a
precious young child, take the time to
read And the Whippoorwill Sang.
Prepare yourself to laugh hysterically
one moment, to yourself or even out-
loud, and then sink into your seat with
consolation as you embark upon a
twenty-two year journey through the
lives of Micki and Butch, as seen
through Micki’s eyes.
There are two journals intertwined within the pages of . . .And the Whippoorwill Sang; one that spans two
decades of the couple’s trials and triumphs clearly chronicled by historic date, and another that spans a shorter,
ten-day journey that, had you personally been there, and you feel you are as you read on, would seem to last an
I encourage you to get your copy and find a quiet place to absorb Micki’s personal true-life memories, the
memories which urge us to Weep, to Laugh, to Grieve, to Dance.
John M. Evans
National Victim Services Training Manager
Mothers Against Drunk Driving - MADD
Please support the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving. Read about the campaign at www.madd.org.
AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG
. . .All too often it takes me forever to get to your chapters, but when I do they are usually so delicious that I gobble them like Godiva chocolates and am sorry there's not more and more. The present pages are no exception -- lively, engrossing, and very poignant. --Bonnie Golightly, NonFiction Writer, novelist, screenwriter, Instructor, Writers Digest Writers School
A MOTHER'S STORY OF LIFE
While reading this book, I contacted the author via instant message and noted how struck I was by her extraordinary recall of detail, faithfully and interesingly fashioned into this very readable tale of one family's struggle to live life well. And as the author conveys so realistically, it's seldom easy. The second standout feature of this book is the author's effective use of periodic flashback that dramatically places the reader at the bedside of her beloved daughter Noelle who had been struck by a drunk driver and critically injured.
This is a story written by a devoted, loving mom and, unhappily as it happens, a bereaved parent. Read this heart-warming story with a cozy blanket and cup of tea. You'll soon discover how well and profitably you've spent your time.
By Alan D Busch, author of "Snapshots of Ben"
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Reader Reviews for "And The Whippoorwill Sang"
|Reviewed by Martha Love
|This book is truly hard to put down! Micki Peluso's memoir "And The Whippoorwill Sang" is a true tale about two people very much in love, often struggling but at heart loving every minute of it to raise a large family. Sometimes there is desperation and grief when children fall ill or tragedy hits the family, and there is frustration when the day-to-day struggles of parenthood exhaust both parents, but largely, the book is filled with absolutely hilarious tales of their family life. Be prepared to laugh out loud and tear up at other times!
The story unfolds in flashback format, beginning in 1981 in the hospital when their beautiful 14 year old daughter, Noelle, is fighting for her life after being hit as a pedestrian by a drunken driver. The story of Noelle's final days in the hospital and Micki's struggle to be the loving mother that she is until the very end of her child's life, briefly interweaves throughout the book in intermittent short chapters. The flashback and family story begins with the eloping of Micki and her handsome husband Butch in 1959 and moves slowly, tale by tale, up to and past the time of Noelle's death.
I read this book during the week of a major surgery of a close relative in my own family and it helped me so much. When I first started the book, I thought that perhaps I should have waited to another time to read it and that it was going to be stressful, because it is ultimately about the tragedy of her daughter Noelle. But, as I read Micki's memories of motherhood and the many beautiful, sometimes worrisome but mostly totally humorous experiences of raising her beautiful and large family, I was able to also reflect upon my own parenthood days and the lives of my own children. Micki writes with such genuine feeling and humor about her own experiences that she allows the reader to have the space to relax and relate their own life when they felt the same way. It was for me de-stressing, meditative, and enjoyable to read.
This book is not just about family and parenthood, not even just about grief of a mother and the tragedy of a beautiful child being killed by a drunken driver and the need for tougher laws to deter such recklessness, but more profoundly it is about the eternity of the soul. Micki reveals many experiences throughout the book that she and the rest of the family have with spirits of people who have passed on and she shares this same communication and understanding of eternity about her own daughter who has passed on. It is in that way, a book with the universal theme of hope and this feeling of hope is left in the hearts of the readers. I highly recommend this extremely well written, 5 star book.
|Reviewed by Sandie May Angel-Joyce
I think this is a book to treasure, for it has the memories of all your family members. To be living in a haunted house just added so much more adventure to the true story. Hope your little angel is watching over you now.
Wishing you great success with the sale of this book!
Sandie Angel :o)