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And the Whippoorwill Sang

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Happy times, a sunny day, a driving drunk, eight lives forever changed. A mother's account of actual events of her family, filled with laughter, love, loss, and survival.

It is a day like any other, except the intense heat wave has broken and signs of early fall are in the air.

Around the dining room table of her 100 year old farmhouse Micki Peluso's six children along with three of their friends eagerly gulp down a chicken dinner. As soon as ...

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Overview

Happy times, a sunny day, a driving drunk, eight lives forever changed. A mother's account of actual events of her family, filled with laughter, love, loss, and survival.

It is a day like any other, except the intense heat wave has broken and signs of early fall are in the air.

Around the dining room table of her 100 year old farmhouse Micki Peluso's six children along with three of their friends eagerly gulp down a chicken dinner. As soon as the last morsel is ravished, the lot of them is off in different directions. Except for the one whose turn it is to do the dishes. After offering her mother a buck if she'll do them, with an impish grin, the child rushes out the front door, too excited for a hug, calling out, "Bye Mom," as the door slams shut. For the Peluso's the nightmare begins.

Micki and Butch face the horror every parent fears-awaiting the fate of one of their children. While sitting vigil in the ICU waiting room, Micki traverses the past, as a way of dealing with an inconceivable future.

From the bizarre teenage elopement with her high school sweetheart, Butch, in a double wedding with her own mother, to comical family trips across country in an antiquated camper with six kids and a dog, they leave a path of chaos, antics and destruction in their wake. Micki relives the happy times of raising six children while living in a haunted house, as the young parents grow up with their kids. She bravely attempts to be the man of the house while her husband, Butch is working out of town.

Hearing strange noises, which all the younger kids are sure is the ghosts, Micki tiptoes down to the cellar, shotgun in hand and nearly shoots an Idaho potato that has fallen from the pantry and thumped down the stairs. Of course her children feel obligated to tell the world.

Just when their lives are nearly perfect, tragedy strikes-and the laughter dies. A terrible accident takes place in the placid valley nestled within the Susquehanna Mountains in the town of Williamsport, Pennsylvania. On a country lane just blocks from the family's hundred year old haunted farmhouse, lives are changed forever.

In a state of shock, Micki muses through their delightful past to avoid confronting an uncertain future-as the family copes with fear and apprehension.

One of her six children is fighting for life in Intensive Care. Both parents are pressured by doctors to disconnect Noelle, their fourteen-year-old daughter. Her beautiful girl, funny and bright, who breathes life into every moment, who does cartwheels in piles of Autumn leaves, who loves to sing and dance down country roads, and above all loves her family with all her soul. How can Micki let this child go?

The family embarks upon yet another journey, to the other side of sorrow and grasps the poignant gift of life as they begin. . .to weep. . .to laugh. . .to grieve. . .to dance-and forgive.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780979203046
  • Publisher: LSP Digital, LLC
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

From the beaches of Long Island, New York to the glitter of Las Vegas, Nevada--from the majestic Pennsylvania Susquehanna Mountains to Staten Island, New York, her stories traveled with her. Micki writes fiction and non-fiction often based upon her family life. Her greatest achievement in life is her children and grandchildren. Just ask them!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    A MUST READ!

    Micki Peluso's book, And the Whippoorwill Sang, is both funny and tragic. Ms Peluso brings forth candid honesty about being the mother of six children, a wife, and a woman. Married in a bizarre double wedding with her mother, she embarks on life, not realizing the joys and heartaches it can bring. Through her entire story, she never loses faith. Her honesty is blunt at times, but it's also laced with a bit of humor. When tragedy strikes, she carries you through it with her. Her daughter, Noelle, has been struck down by a drunk driver. While Noelle hovers between this life and the next, Ms Peluso takes you with her, as she travels back in time in order to deal with the present. You will experience, along with Ms. Peluso, how... To Weep... To Laugh... To Grieve... To Dance... A MUST READ

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2007

    And the Whippoorwill Sang

    This is one of the most bittersweet memoirs I've ever read. It shows a family in a moment of crisis and shows how that family gets through with faith and sticking together.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2007

    Touching Story

    Very touching story about a large family over a period of many years. Makes you laugh and cry --touches on life in an era gone by (60's and 70's). An experience to read -- Highly recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The worst nightmare any mother could endure is the loss of a chi

    The worst nightmare any mother could endure is the loss of a child. In And The Whippoorwill Sang, author and mother Micki Peluso relates her own agonizing story of loss and grief after a drunk driver cut short the vibrant life of her beloved 14-year-old daughter Noelle.
    But this horrible incident does not consume the entirety of Peluso’s tale. The majority of her book relates countless recollections of raising a brood of half a dozen children from their earliest years when half the battle was helping them survive cuts, bruises and broken bones, to the turbulent pubescent years and their eventual entry into adulthood. From a daughter who amused the family with her many comedic antics to a son who took delight in nailing a frog to a cross and yet other who tied the family cat to an umbrella and launched it out an upper window to see if it would parachute down, one cannot help but laugh out loud. 
    And The Whippoorwill Sang is a truly heartfelt tale scanning many years of memories. Just as the author has the reader howling at her children’s behavior, she slips in another short chapter recalling those agonizing 10 days that she sat with family and friends in a waiting room next to the intensive care unit where her daughter’s spirit hung precariously between the world of the living and the afterlife. Thankfully, the author chose to present her story this way so the reader does not become lost in the utter hopelessness that she felt during that terrible time. 
    For those such as I who love to hear true tales of the paranormal, I could not help sympathizing with her youngsters when they insisted that one of the much older but beautiful homes where they lived was actually haunted. Despite their pleas about all manner of paranormal activity, including ghostly apparitions, Peluso was not convinced until she saw otherworldly spirits for herself. After this happened she wrote, “I owed my kids an apology.”
    When Noelle finally succumbed to her injuries, many wonderful supernatural events made Peluso increasingly aware that the soul lives on. Two of her young grandsons, one just 2 years old, were well aware of Noelle’s presence in their lives. And she even made an unexpected appearance to her father when her mother was in hospital.
    This is one of those rare books that take the reader along for both the highest highs and lowest lows of a mother’s life. Her children were certainly a mixed bag of memorable characters, not to mention dogs, cats and a loving but workaholic husband. Peluso’s story presents us with not only a mother’s memories of both joyful and sorrowful times but also leaves the reader with a feeling of great hope. 
    This is one book that will linger in your own memory long after its covers are closed.

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  • Posted September 26, 2013

    Much like the whippoorwill¿s song, Peluso¿s memoir conveys tales

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    This is a remarkable read! This beautiful memoir delves deeply i

    This is a remarkable read! This beautiful memoir delves deeply into every emotion known to the soul...from tremendous love of husband and family, laugh out loud domestic adventures, to the gut-wrenching agony of every parent's nightmare...the senseless loss of a child. Through it all, Ms. Peluso captures and captivates her audience with eloquent and powerful prose, beginning with her bedside vigil in a hospital ICU after a horrific accident involving her daughter and a drunk driver, then taking us back in time to the beginning...her beginning.

    I am amazed at the strength and character of this author. To endure such a tragedy as the loss of a child, and be able to pen the experience so eloquently with candor and humor, speaks volumes about the power and spirit of a mother's undying love. When I read a book, I want to feel I'm a part of the story, as though I am there experiencing whatever is about to unfold. This author did not leave me wanting...She made me feel.

    I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is a powerfully written story of the sorrows and triumphs of real life. Not a sob story or feel-sorry-for-me essay, but a true memorial of a life taken all too soon.

    Ms. Peluso...You have done great honor to your daughter. You are the quintessential definition of Mother. I'm positive Noelle is smiling from above.

    Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    When you promise your dying fourteen year old that friends will

    When you promise your dying fourteen year old that friends will remember her and strangers will know her, you cannot renege. And it must be a beautiful and inspiring retelling of her life to make it is a fitting memorial.

    Peluso has done all that in this strong, passionate story--and not at all what I would consider a typical memoir. Using a creative structure, she moves readers back and forth from memories of their unorthodox family life to the horrifying days of vigil in her daughter’s hospital room. The change of tone makes the story not too much of a "this is your life" review and not too much of a "dramatic tear-jerker." We get the whole picture, but in witty or tender bites so that we aren’t compelled to laugh too long or cry too hard.

    This is a highly readable true story, with only the number of characters we are introduced to during the family’s many relocations limiting the tension of this life-drama. Yet I can't think of anything more intense or terrible to endure than the death of your own child, and to endure without hating God for not performing a miraculous healing. Peluso’s well-written description of her experience attests to the human capacity to rebound, even from life’s worst trials.

    And the Whippoorwill Sang is a book that cuts across genres to offer a compassionate, yet entertaining look at life and death and the chapters in between. It appeals to readers willing to see the wonder in the whole experience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    This book is truly hard to put down! Micki Peluso¿s memoir ¿And

    This book is truly hard to put down! Micki Peluso’s memoir “And The Whippoorwill Sang” is a true tale about two people very much in love, often struggling but at heart loving every minute of it to raise a large family. Sometimes there is desperation and grief when children fall ill or tragedy hits the family, and there is frustration when the day-to-day struggles of parenthood exhaust both parents, but largely, the book is filled with absolutely hilarious tales of their family life. Be prepared to laugh out loud and tear up at other times!
    The story unfolds in flashback format, beginning in 1981 in the hospital when their beautiful 14 year old daughter, Noelle, is fighting for her life after being hit as a pedestrian by a drunken driver. The story of Noelle’s final days in the hospital and Micki’s struggle to be the loving mother that she is until the very end of her child’s life, briefly interweaves throughout the book in intermittent short chapters. The flashback and family story begins with the eloping of Micki and her handsome husband Butch in 1959 and moves slowly, tale by tale, up to and past the time of Noelle’s death.
    I read this book during the week of a major surgery of a close relative in my own family and it helped me so much. When I first started the book, I thought that perhaps I should have waited to another time to read it and that it was going to be stressful, because it is ultimately about the tragedy of her daughter Noelle. But, as I read Micki’s memories of motherhood and the many beautiful, sometimes worrisome but mostly totally humorous experiences of raising her beautiful and large family, I was able to also reflect upon my own parenthood days and the lives of my own children. Micki writes with such genuine feeling and humor about her own experiences that she allows the reader to have the space to relax and relate their own life when they felt the same way. It was for me de-stressing, meditative, and enjoyable to read.
    This book is not just about family and parenthood, not even just about grief of a mother and the tragedy of a beautiful child being killed by a drunken driver and the need for tougher laws to deter such recklessness, but more profoundly it is about the eternity of the soul. Micki reveals many experiences throughout the book that she and the rest of the family have with spirits of people who have passed on and she shares this same communication and understanding of eternity about her own daughter who has passed on. It is in that way, a book with the universal theme of hope and this feeling of hope is left in the hearts of the readers. I highly recommend this extremely well written, 5 star book.

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  • Posted January 30, 2013

    After a short prologue, Micki Peluso's book hits you with traged

    After a short prologue, Micki Peluso's book hits you with tragedy. Her daughter, Noelle, is in the hospital, completely paralyzed after being struck by a drunk driver. Micki doesn't stay there too long, however, before she flashes back 23 years to when she and Butch are married and begin to raise a family. Periodically she will touch back on Noelle, lying in her hospital bed, but her book is more than just that tragedy. It is the tale of her family, struggling to make ends meet and work out relationships that are sometimes difficult, sometimes funny and always interesting. As her family story moves inexorably through the years towards Noelle's accident, it is filled with warm, oft humorous anecdotes from her life with a work-obsessed husband struggling to understand the changing roles of women and children who can be endearing as well as infuriating, sometimes simultaneously. When the two storylines intersect in time, the reader is given a ray of hope, the promise Noelle will live on in the lives of her family.

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  • Posted August 25, 2012

    ¿And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso is so many things: at

    …And The Whippoorwill Sang by Micki Peluso is so many things: at times a
    personal memoir, at others a social and cultural commentary; it
    sometimes reads like a relationship advice column, and yet it is also a
    dramatic story with an extremely moving and emotional ending. In
    telling her family’s story of love and loss, Micki provides an in-depth
    look into her personal life that is framed by the cultural backdrop of
    the times, so that her story becomes as impressive and as important to
    the reader as events such as the assassination of Present Kennedy.
    Micki begins her tale with a prologue that captures the reader’s
    attention and immediately causes him to start asking questions as to
    what has transpired. The first scene is of a mother dealing with the
    reality that her daughter has been in a serious, and probably fatal,
    accident—with her husband five hours away and the doctors urging her to
    accept defeat. The horror of the emergency room is juxtaposed in the
    next chapter with Micki’s wedding 22 years earlier to the love of her
    life. As her tale continues, the terror of the present is dispersed
    throughout a retelling of the past. Micki recounts her elopement to
    Butch and her mother’s subsequent move to Florida. She tells of her
    happiness in marrying Butch, but that his parents did not approve
    because she was not Catholic and, therefore, their baby was
    illegitimate. Because they had to stay with Butch’s parents, Micki tells
    of how she went through a four-week Catholic indoctrination in order to
    marry Butch in a “real ceremony.” The first touch of humor enters the
    story when Micki confesses to sending the priest to a rest home for
    frazzled priests after dealing with her religious debates. The book
    continues in this fashion: Micki tells her family’s history,
    interspersed with humor, cultural commentary, and personal opinions
    while constantly reminding the reader that the focus of the tale is her
    daughter who is hovering between this life and the next and how the
    family deals with this situation and its aftermath. Micki tells the
    reader that as she sits in the ICU, she is “grabbing onto the past in an
    effort to block out the future.” From the get-go, Micki’s honesty about
    herself and her family is refreshing and leads the reader to truly care
    for the people she writes about. Throughout the book, the reader will
    laugh, cry, yell in anger, and sometimes cry out a righteous “amen,
    sister!” Her story is so detailed and told with such emotion that by
    the end of the novel, the reader feels as if he is part of her family
    and dealing with the same emotions. She definitely keeps her promise…

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  • Posted August 15, 2012

    Shades of Erma Bombeck -- Wonderful!

    If you are caught in the beauty of the wonderful dilemma of raising a family, “. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang,” by Micki Peluso is a book that is written just for you. And, with Peluso’s gift for writing, which offers shades of the great Erma Bombeck’s style, her story makes for a smooth, easy, and entertaining read. Author Peluso recounts her experiences, mishaps, adventures, confusion, downward spirals, and difficulties, as she goes up, down, and around the surprising obstacles that life throws in the path of her, her husband Butch, and their six children. But Peluso is strong, dedicated, and clever, and she counters each challenge determined to generate her own rewards and triumphs as she demonstrates a moxie that only a loving mother can possess. As a reader, you will identify with the myriad emotions that comes with family struggles . . . sometimes laughing and sometimes crying, as often-time your own memories will sweep into mind. With the fifties and sixties serving as a backdrop, the epic story romps its way through the unique turbulence of the times as the youngsters weave the family together in knots of love and the Pelusos chase their dream of happiness. However, tragedy strikes and shakes Micki and her family to the core. Will the bonds of family, togetherness, and love bear enough to recover . . . or will the misfortune break the ties that bind? Read “. . . And the Whippoorwill Sang,” and remember the heartfelt joy of raising a family. Peter Healy -- Author of "Vengeance Is Sacred"

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    And The Whippoorwill Sang By Micki Peluso I would give Micki P

    And The Whippoorwill Sang
    By
    Micki Peluso

    I would give Micki Peluso’s book ten stars if I could. This is a genuine slice of Americana served up with all the love, pain, and laughter of a working class American family. Micki and Butch are married at seventeen and proceed to have six beautiful, healthy children, almost one a year. Unable to find work, Butch becomes a bartender and leaves the raising of the children to Micki. Unhappy with the way things are going, Micki, with her indomitable pioneering spirit, persuades her husband to leave everything on the East Coast and head for Las Vegas. They travel in a camper with six kids and a dog. This trip alone will keep you laughing for hours. The funny stories about their friends, their kids, and their kid’s friends are also hilarious. The constant struggle to keep the family fed, clothed and schooled is not unlike that which most of us have had to deal with throughout our lives but Micki does it with aplomb, aided by a fabulous sense of humor. Suddenly life hits Micki and Butch in the very core of their being when one of their beloved children is hit by a drunk driver, and her spine is severed. You can feel Micki’s pain as she waits in the emergency room for word from the doctor. You can feel the love and support of her family and friends, but Micki is inconsolable. This incredible story took me through a range of emotions unlike any I have ever felt from a book. I want to thank Micki for sharing her life, her sorrow, her grief, and her children with us and my prayers are with the whole family, because this kind of loss never goes away.
    Mary Firmin, author Deadly Pleasures

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  • Posted June 27, 2012

    ...And the Whippoorwill Sang captured my attention from the very

    ...And the Whippoorwill Sang captured my attention from the very first page and tugged at my heartstrings throughout. Whether it was to laugh or to cry, I found myself so involved with the story that I was anticipating the next chapter with unexpected zeal.

    The book quickly drew me in, making me feel as if Micki and I were sitting at her kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. She is relaxed in her writing, which made me feel like I was a part of her large family. Her words are descriptive; so much so that I could see not just the curtains, but through the windows to the streets and neighborhood beyond. I love that about this book, I can visualize what the couch looks like when Micki is recuperating from having a baby. I can see Dante's mischievous face, Michael and Kim talking about leaving home with only the things their grandmother had given them, Kelly learning to talk, and Nicole wrapping her hair around her toes. I see a huge dog that doesn’t ride very well in the car!

    The book begins in 1959 at Micki's wedding at age 17 to Butch. I loved how she explained the wedding night in a way that would never offend any reader. I couldn't help but laugh and smile and feel good. She brought me back to the way things used to be in the 60s and 70s. The places they lived while their family grew, the decor, the pets, so much to see with your mind's eye to make you feel a part of the story. Things were so much different back then, parents didn't worry so much about their children going out and playing, coming home when the street lights came on. Moms didn't drive, they did the wash and made clothes and did whatever they could to be sure to have enough money for groceries, and dads worked so hard to support the family. Children slept in attics, basements, and laundry rooms; wherever there was enough space to put a bed. And the children never complained. Dinners were whatever moms could throw together from leftovers, and everyone was content.

    Most families at the time were large, and each child had their own personality traits which made them unique and separated them from their siblings. There were six children in the Peluso household. Noelle was independent at a very young age, broadly intelligent, and her charm captured your heart. She went through that period of time that every girl does, where hormones cause a shift in personality, but came back to being the darling that her siblings all remember. At the young age of 14, she was killed by a drunk driver while walking to the park. Before she died, her mother promised her that she wouldn't let her life be in vain, that she would let the world know that Noelle had lived.

    It is so easy to relate to the stories Micki tells about those years, some of which had me laughing in sheer nostalgic bliss, and others that had me wanting to give her a hug and share her grief. I highly recommend this book. There are so many reasons why. It takes a baby boomer back to life in the 60s, and it is a double bonus if you are from the Northeast. It is a comfortable book, yet one the reader never loses interest in. It can definitely be read in a weekend, and it is one that you will remember. Micki travels in time to the early days of her family, occasionally coming back to the moment at hand, when Noelle's life is hanging in the balance. But she doesn't stay there long, only enough to fill the reader's mind with sympathy for this mother who remains strong despite the pain she is going through. Micki is the glue that is holding the family together, when she is the one who desperately needs to be hugged and loved and reassured that the choices she is making are the right ones. She wrestles with her spirituality, but knows in her heart that God is in charge and will one day remove her grief. It brings to the open the heartache that families go through when a lawless person, not caring about whom they hurt goes out reckless into the world. The devastation that is caused by drunk drivers is brought home to you between the eyes. Noelle was real, for crying out loud, she was a little girl, only 14, and minding her own business when her life was taken in a matter of moments. Is there justice for the family? The man who hit her served time, but Noelle never grew up.

    There is a sweet sorrow to Noelle’s short life, but even so, her mother’s promise was met. I know that Noelle lived, and you will too if you buy this book. It is a 5-star read!

    Deirdre Tolhurst, Author, A Christmas I Remember, ISBN 978-1-61346-422-9.

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