Several weeks ago I received a signed copy of Until My Soul Gets it Right: Book Two in The Bibliophiles series by Karen Wojcik Berner.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened the pages of Karen's novel, but I have to admit I was instantly engaged with the story of Catherine Elbert, a farm girl from Wisconsin who is trying to find her place in life.
Her story opens in Wisconsin in 1985. Catherine is an excellent high school student who is selected for a plum part in the class play. Much to her disappointment, her stern and unloving mother squelches her dream of becoming an actress. In fact, her mother does her best to destroy Catherine's self-image at every turn.
Two years after graduation, with a dim future ahead of her and after watching a travel show on public television, Catherine embarks on a journey that takes her from Wisconsin to an island off the coast of Maine, to San Diego, California, and back to the Midwest.
Along the way she makes several friends and makes a lot of mistakes, while she learns a lot about life and about love, but mostly about herself.
Berner's characters are lively, and the book has mild touches of humor, some soul-searching situations, and some swearing. Berner does an excellent job of setting the scene and giving the reader a good sense of place. The writing is strong and fluid, with one minor exception involving the eye color of one of the characters. On one page his eyes are green, on another brown--the "same brown eyes" as Tom Cruise's--except TC's eyes are blue. That hiccup took me out of the story for half a second, but for the rest of the book I found myself flipping the pages to find out what was going to happen to Catherine. I wondered: would she ever find love, would she make amends for her mistakes, and how was the Bibliophile Book Club going to fit in? All my questions were answered by the last page.
Until My Soul Gets it Right by Karen Wojcik Berner is a novel of self-discovery, sin, redemption, and forgiveness--and also wicked fun.
In the spirit of sharing, I am going to give away my signed review copy to one lucky person who leaves a comment between now and October 2nd. The name of the winner will be picked at random and announced on October 3rd.