"Have you thought about writing your family history, but found yourself stuck from the start? Writing a family narrative can be a daunting task, but Karen Jones Gowen found a way to bring her mother's story to life." (Homespun Magazine)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Review of "Following the Whispers" by Karen Walker

Parts of this book were difficult to read, but I finally got through the unhappy, abusive marriage relationships. I suppose, since I come from a happy childhood and am blessed with a happy marriage, that might be why I don't enjoy tales from the dark side of family life. However, Karen Walker doesn't dwell overly long on these issues and carries the reader beyond this to her self-discovery through listening to the still, small voice within her.

Ignoring this voice is what causes the author to make poor decisions which results in misery. Finally listening to the voice, the whispers, is what gradually brings her back to strength and happiness. It's a message I truly believe in. This is a spiritual book, although not religious and not espousing any particular belief or church. The author comes from a part-Jewish background which she values, yet her final spiritual discoveries result from this simple philosophy-- to listen to the voice within and be guided by it.

Her story strengthens my own faith that we are children of a Heavenly Father who loves us, and who guides and directs us throughout this often painful, difficult journey on earth. It was a beautiful thing to see this author's account of how God kept reaching out to her in so many ways.

I read several of the reviews on Shelfari (or was it Goodreads?) and was surprised that so many saw it as an account of overcoming childhood sexual abuse. True, an incident occurred but Karen Walker's memoir is much more than a story of abuse. I saw it as a spiritual discovery memoir, which is how I most related to it.

If you are interested in reading one woman's journey from a life of pain to one of peace and happiness, then Following the Whispers is a book worth reading.


  1. I find it too painful to read books with depressing topics. Even "Eat, Pray, Love" is hard for me to read. I am doing it because she draws me into her life and I can't stop myself. I make it a point to read it at the gym so I can be easily distracted from her pain. Perhaps someday my life will be different and I will enjoy books of survival.

  2. Karen, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read my story and to write what you felt about it, even though some of it was difficult to read. Nobody wants to read about other peoples' pain unless there is a way through that pain that can help others. That is why I wrote my story.

  3. The most powerful books for me are those that do just that - take us through painful experiences. I remember reading or hearing this somewhere: "You have to have wounds to finger to make powerful connections." Tension, conflict, drama. This is the stuff of great literature.

    Thanks, Karen, for this excellent review. I'm still more than eager to read this book. I think I can work it into my budget next month.

  4. Hi

    Lovely review - it's always great to read and know about survival not just of the physical kind, but of spritual and emotional ones too. Thanks for this.

    take care


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