And the Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso (Self-Published, 2012, 308pp.)
“...The whippoorwill had two songs, one happy, lilting song for spring, followed by a guttural tune of deep sadness as autumn approached and the bird was replaced by the winter wren.”Much like the whippoorwill’s song, Peluso’s memoir conveys tales from a life that has known both joy and sorrow. It alternates between two timelines: in the first one, we sit with Peluso at her dying child’s bedside in 1981; in the second, we visit past memories and happier times. Starting in her late teens, Peluso recounts her married years with her high school sweetheart, Butch, as they move from one home to another, welcoming and raising six children along the way. Although times are frequently tough (and at times downright tragic), the tone of the work is mostly light-hearted. The reader will find themselves chuckling at the antics of Peluso’s kids, as well as her domestic misadventures involving disobedient dogs, a house plagued by paranormal activity, and cross-country road-trips taken with her family of eight. The story comes full circle when Peluso reveals the tragedy that marks the memoir’s beginning. By turns saddening and laugh-out-loud funny, And the Whippoorwill Sang is definitely one to check out.