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And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso

June 25, 2012

The young teenager had just left home, a short, “Goodbye Mom” shattered through the house, and the door slammed.  None of the family had any clue to what was about to happen. None of them had known a certain moment in time would change their lives forever. None of them had really thought about how quickly life could pass over into some other invisible form. None of them had considered it may be the last time to touch, to talk to, or to reach out and physically embraced the person one so deeply cares about, until it had happened––And The Whippoorwill Sang.

Every time I hear a new born baby cry,

Or touch a leaf or see the sky

Then I know why, I believe.(1)

A Child is born, and the world around it rejoices. It is December, almost Christmas, and the mother notates certain events and occasions in her mind that make the year unforgettable.  She has developed a method for bringing her children into the world. She talks to them as they are still hidden in her wound. The baby understands, and because of its comfortableness, because of its security, because of the warmth the mother’s wound offers, it thinks about whether it would like to enter into a world where it will have to deal with the changes and idiosyncrasies of people who are driven by their likes and dislikes of others––And The Whippoorwill Sang.

And The Whippoorwill Sang, the book written by Micki Peluso, begins with her fourteen year old daughter, and the accident that would change the lives of her family as one of them crossover into eternity.

The book is unusual, in that Peluso, not only enlightens us about a hideous crime, which takes place in her own family, but she also brings light upon the character of one of the most dangerous criminals that still runs amok  in our society today, regardless of which country in the world we might live–– the hit and run driver that causes accidents under intoxication.  The driver who inebriates his brain into dysfunction; the driver, who then steps behind the wheel of his or her weapon to reach a destination;  the driver, who out of disrespect for life, hits a person, an animal or an object and keeps going, as they think through their befuddlement about how they can now hide what they have  done.

Micki Peluso, however, does not only deal with the ordeal, which takes place in her family’s life, but also with her confrontation with God, her lost, and the growth cycles of her maturation through out the entire book.  Growth cycles that took a young woman who had gotten married at the age of seventeen through a life of loneliness and love, a life that is defined for the first fifteen years by her children.

Each child is special for Peluso. She has six of those little people we call babies, and each one renders, in her development into a woman, a certain degree of maturity that her girlfriends, who had decided to go away to school, were missing.

So it was for Noelle, the Christmas baby that Peluso talked into not being born on Christmas Day, instead to appear a few days earlier. Peluso talked to all her babies as she carried them. Maybe this is the reason why closeness developed between all of them and her, mother-child relationships that go beyond the grave into eternity–And The Whippoorwill Sang.

She writes about Noelle’s cuteness and her bravery. What two-year-old kid would have thought to go to the neighbors and ask the lady to cook her some fried eggs cause her Mama was going through morning sickness from a new pregnancy.

That alone defines Noelle. She was the peacekeeper, the easy-going nature who didn’t make demands. The charming baby whose first words were whish, whish, gulp, gulp, and ummmmm, because the laundry room was designated as her baby room.

Every time I hear a new born baby cry,

Or touch a leaf or see the sky

Then I know why, I believe. (2) 

I followed Peluso as she struggled with finding herself in a world where she had only received a high school education, in a world where she fought for recognition from her husband, in a world where she sacrificed herself for her family. Her marriage crises forced her to be the one to change.  It was she who could not carry a grudge for long, and it was she who kept her marriage going when her husband gave her the ultimatum of take me or leave me, I am the way I am.  I could only applaud her in her decision. What woman would have stayed with her family after such an ultimatum? Only a woman, who cared about the destiny of her children––And The Whippoorwill Sang.

Please do not think the book is lopsided, because it is not.   You don’t  get the impression Peluso is trying to slam her husband or to get revenge.  No, this is not the case at all. She brings out beautifully the great qualities he has as a provider for her and their brood.  He is the man who promise to take care of her as long as they both shall live, and thank God, he takes his promise he made on their wedding day seriously.

I laughed, and I cried with Peluso.  I was born a few years later, and the cry of acknowledgement from the Women’s Liberation Front, and the National Organization for Women‘s had  loss some of its hysteria in the men’s world.  Thus, it was refreshing to read about some of its effects upon Peluso and her friends’ lives.

All of these themes are dealt with in Peluso’s book, and yet it is written in such a way that the reader laughs and cries at the events, which take place. But the laughter takes its turn in the last chapters; Peluso has to give up her Christmas Baby. The child, whose first words were whish, whish, gulp, gulp, and ummmmm–– And The Whippoorwill Sang.

After reading And The Whippoorwill Sang, my emotions were in disarray.  The ten-day struggle she went through, I related to heavily. Living in a foreign country, away from family and those I love, the agony of saying goodbye is difficult. One never knows when it is the last time.

Therefore, this is a have-to-read book. It will take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride and will challenge you to rethink your drinking habits when you drive. Most importantly though, it will challenge you to rethink your relationships with those who are close too you and cause you to consider reaching out instead of pushing away,  loving  instead of hating, and  accepting  instead of rejecting, those who mean the most to you––And The Whippoorwill Sang.


Pat Garcia

And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso can be bought as a book at bookstores and  or as an ebook at Amazon’s Kindle store  to include Amazon.De for Germany.

1 & 2, Irvin Graham Jimmy Shirl, Ervin M. Drake, & Al Stillmann,  I Believe. 1953.

From → Books

  1. Just your review made me cry. I’ve already made the decision to order it. I think Micki has a wealth of wisdom and experience to share.


    • Good morning My Dear,

      I can only say this is one book you want put down. I sat through the book crying, laughing and rejoicing with Micki. I believe you will experience the same things. She has written a beautiful tribute to her child.
      Enjoy and thank you so much for commenting.
      I wish you a beautiful Tuesday.


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