The Moments Between Dreams by Judith F. Brenner #BookReview #GreenleafBookGroupPress #4*

A story of hope, courage, and perseverance

Carol misses red flags about Joe’s need for control before she marries him, dashing her dreams for herself and her family.

Trouble escalates after their daughter Ellie is paralyzed by the polio virus and Joe returns from WWII. Carol realizes how brutal waking life can be, and she conceals bruises and protects her children the best she can.

The Moments Between Dreams is a captivating story of a 1940s housewife who conforms to the rulebook of society until Joe pushes her too far. His constant intimidation shrinks Carol’s confidence while she tries to boost Ellie’s.

Church-going neighbors in Carol’s tight-knit Polish community are complacent, but Sam, a handsome reporter, stirs up Carol’s zest for life. Despite impossible circumstances, Carol plans a secret escape.

Along a risky path, she empowers her daughter to know no limits and teaches her son to stop the cycle of violence and gender discrimination.

An Enticing Read!

An inspirational tale of a mother who will do anything to protect and nourish her daughter.

Carol was young when she married Joe; now with two growing children she is beginning to discover that he’s not the man she thought he was but with their daughter contracting polio she has other concerns to the forefront of her mind. Absorbing all the information she can, Carol wants to ensure that Ellie gets as near to a full recovery as is possible and she will do everything in her power to give her that chance. With Joe serving his country in WWII, life is just a bit easier at home but it’s not long before he returns and the pressure mounts. How long can Carol continue being the outlet for her husband’s temper?

In general, I don’t read abuse novels but there is so much more to this one. Born at a time after the polio vaccine was widely available, it’s not something I’ve encountered in life but I found the details of the different types of the virus fascinating – and I always like the feeling of learning something new from a book! I’ve recently been horrified to hear of polio cases appearing once more in the world; we must not get lax about such a valuable vaccine. Back to the book: Carol is a strong woman, intent on providing the best for her children but Joe treats her like a second-class citizen – perhaps more common in the 1940’s than now. It unsettled me that she was portrayed as perfect; after all, we all have our flaws – that’s what makes us human. This is an enticing read, hard to put down once begun and I did enjoy it. For me, four stars.

My thanks to the author for my copy of her book; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: women’s fiction

Judith F. Brenner owns Creative Lakes Media, LLC, a freelance writing and editing services company. She is the managing editor and publisher of Sharpeners Report, a national publication with paid circulation in a professional service and repair industry.

Her personal essays have been published in Writers in the Know (WINK) literary magazine, (available at, and Minnesota Parent magazine. She completed the Iowa University Mini-MFA Workshop in 2019.

Judith is a member of the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis and the Professional Editor’s Network.

She resides in Minnesota with her husband and has two daughters.

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