The Moments Between Dreams

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
304 Pages
Reviewed on 12/15/2022
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

The Moments Between Dreams: A Novel by Judith F. Brenner is an unforgettable story of a woman who rises above the confines of society to overcome abuse and find happiness. Carol’s hopes for a marriage grounded in respect and teamwork are quickly dashed soon after settling down with Joe. When he is drafted to war, she is left to take care of her son and her daughter who is afflicted by polio. Still, Carol bravely trudges on and finds ways to take care of her family even in his absence. She continues to suffer physical and emotional abuse from Joe after his return from WWII. Trapped in a misogynistic, oppressive society, she feels desperate and decides to plot her escape. Carol finds hope for a better future in Sam, a friendly reporter whom she had met earlier.

From the start, I was drawn to Carol for her courage and strong will. Based on historical facts, the absorbing story explores a difficult, limiting setting where women had no voice. It offers an eye-opening look into this time period and the challenges posed by devastating epidemics, the war, and societal prejudices. Brenner deftly exposes the ugly impact of domestic violence and emotional abuse and beautifully explores Carol’s heart-warming relationships with her children and mother. The Moments Between Dreams: A Novel by Judith F. Brenner covers pertinent issues through its heroine whose story is a remarkable portrayal of resilience and triumph. Readers will be inspired by Carol’s strength and will find her story’s conclusion satisfying.

Grace Ruhara

Does life ever get better, especially with constant stumbling blocks that only morph into bigger challenges? Carol, the protagonist of The Moments Between Dreams by Judith F. Brenner, is a stay-at-home mom of Ellie and Tommy. Ellie falls sick and is diagnosed with polio, which unfortunately damages her limbs. She requires lots of medication, physical therapy, and medical appointments. Besides that, Carol is married to a husband who is barely home to help with the situation, and when he is, he finds pleasure in beating her up whenever she tries to speak her mind. With the passing of her mother Babcia, she loses her only source of strength. How does she move forward from this? She must decide whether to succumb or hold her head high despite life's tragedies.

What I liked about The Moments Between Dreams by Judith F. Brenner is that it creates awareness about the polio virus and its impact on the victims and their families. The pain and trauma the victims and family members endure from all the medication and surgery can be unbearable. The medical bills strain the family finances and throw them into a state of confusion, especially because they cannot pay for basic amenities. The discrimination the victim has to endure, such as stigmatization by other kids who don't want to play with her, damages her social life. The school no longer wants to be held responsible if anything happens to their child. These consequences not only affect the victims of polio but all other long-term diseases. I recommend this novel to readers to create awareness and help them understand the condition of patients who suffer from polio and to accept and help where they can. I also recommend it to readers who enjoy historical family fiction.

Maria Victoria Beltran

The Moments Between Dreams: A Novel by Judith F. Brenner is a historical work that unravels in the early 1940s on Chicago’s southwest side. Carol Wozniak is a young Polish-American housewife with two children and an abusive husband. In the summer of 1943, she took her children Tom and Ellie to swim in a public pool. Some days later, Ellie was diagnosed with polio and was paralyzed from the neck down. Making her situation worst, her husband Joe was drafted into the US Navy when the Second World War broke out. At a time when very few women drove cars and were dependent on men for many things, Carol’s situation was overwhelming. This book narrates Carol’s tumultuous journey as she struggled to provide for her children and deal with her husband’s abuse.

Judith F. Brenner’s The Moments Between Dreams is a trip back in time to the 1940s and 1950s. The polio vaccine was not available then, and the United States suffered from outbreaks of the disease. Well researched and informative, it also focuses on domestic violence as the author takes us inside Carol’s life behind closed doors. Ellie’s struggle with polio is rich with vivid details, and it is an eye-opener. Readers should also find it easy to empathize with Carol as she finds the courage and strength to deal with her situation. A lot of things have changed since then but there are still women trapped in abusive relationships, so the theme is still relevant. Highly recommended!