Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Women’s Fiction
“You can’t run away from yourself.
Catherine Elbert has never been good at making decisions, whether it was choosing an ice cream flavor as a small child, or figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. The only thing Catherine knew for sure was there had to be more to life than being stuck on her family’s farm in Wisconsin.
While watching a PBS travel show, Catherine becomes entranced by Portland, Maine. The ocean. The lobsters. The rugged coast. Nothing could be more different from the flat, nondescript farmlands of Burkesville.
Despite her parents threatening to disown her and her brothers taking bets on how many days until she comes home, Catherine settles on Peaks Island, off the coast of Portland.
She is finally free.
Or so she thought.”
An award winning magazine writer and editor, Karen Wojcik Berner’s first novel, A Whisper to a Scream, was the initial book of a planned series, with each focusing on one or two members of a book club. This book is the second of the series.
Berner also has a blog called BibliophilicBlather, which features flash fiction (either her own or a guest’s) each Friday. Another frequent feature is Editing for Grammarphobes, short grammar, language, and editing tips that are beneficial for everyone, whether they think they are a writer or not. I know her tips help me. For more, visit the author’s website.
I loved the first book of The Bibliophiles series, A Whisper to a Scream. I knew the remaining books in the series would each focus on specific members of the book club introduced in the first book, and wondered how that would work. Would the stories be chronological, happening at the same time (which seemed like it would present problems), or something else. It turned out to be something else, at least in the case of Until My Soul Gets It Right.
If you’ve read the first book, you’ll remember Catherine as the “actress” who, if you reacted to her the same as I did, might have been a bit of an enigma, and who possibly rubbed you the wrong way at times. This book goes back to Catherine’s childhood, and brings her story forward to the present. It changed my opinion of Catherine for the better. It’s a story that anyone should be able to relate who has wanted to escape where they grew up, for whatever reason. Berner has a talent with prose that flows smoothly and puts the reader right where they belong, inside the character’s head. Until My Soul Gets It Right is another winner.
A small amount of adult language and adult situations.
Although the second book in the series, reading the first book is not a prerequisite for full enjoyment of this book
Added for Reprise Review: Until My Soul Gets it Right by Karen Wojcik Berner was a nominee in the Contemporary Fiction category for B&P 2013 Readers' Choice Awards. Original review ran June 7, 2012
The review copy I received was an advance reader copy, so I’m unable to comment in this area.
Rating: ***** Five Stars
Reviewed by: BigAl
Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words