This is a true story about a tragedy that is every parent’s worst nightmare. When 14 year old Noelle leaves the house one evening to join her friends at a concert in the park, no one knew it would be for the last time. This is a gripping emotional account of how one mother faced losing a child to a drunk driver.
The book begins in the waiting room at the hospital where Noelle has been taken in August 1981. Her neck is broken and spinal cord severed. Doctors give Micki and Butch, her parents, no hope of her survival.
Writing is therapeutic and in this memoir, Micki Peluso takes us on a journey back through time. She eloped with her high school sweetheart and had a double wedding with her wacky mother. By the time Micki graduated from high school, she was pregnant with their first child. She and Butch are presented with many challenges as they start their young lives together as a family. It wasn’t without turmoil. And it wasn’t without heartbreak and sacrifices. Children came close together and often. Each time she discovered she was pregnant yet again, there was anger and resentment as another mouth had to be fed. They wound up having six children. Micki describes her children vividly throughout the book; their personalities, their flaws and their strengths. The obvious love she has for each is portrayed beautifully in this story. The same is true for Butch. He was a workaholic and long hours away placed the burden of caring for so many children on Micki.
I will say that throughout the book, the arguments they had over her getting pregnant so often and he working so many hours became redundant. I also had a hard time keeping up with all of the characters. There were the six children, parents, friends, relatives, friends of the children and co-workers that moved through their lives. But, that became irrelevant as the emotion of the story carried me. I found no importance in trying to remember who everyone was.
What Micki Peluso did with this memoir, was pour her heart and soul into words. The chaos of a large family, antics of the children, various animals they owned, to ghosts haunting the house and eventually death kept me reading.
Anyone who has faced a loss of this proportion will find healing through reading this book.
“AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG, dedicated to the one I lost. Published by Light Sword Publishing, it is a funny, poignant celebration of life rather than a eulogy of death.” Micki Peluso
Micki Peluso is a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club