What Birds Can Only Whisper
by Julie Brickman
Turnstone Press

"Those of us that bear witness to the excretions of evil, we are the contaminated ones. … The doers of evil possess no such dilemma. They walk without shadows in the light of the sun."

Kendra Quillan stands on the precipice of success, and she is a time bomb waiting to implode. This dichotomy drives the leader of the all-woman rock band, Survivors. Pretty, talented, and finally in love, Kendra begs the question: What’s wrong? She has a penchant for self-destruction, and she cannot remember making love to her adoring boyfriend, only that she is good at it.

In truth, Kendra suppresses certain events, stores them inside birds of split personality and scatters them over the vast landscape of her mind. In the birds, Kendra compartmentalizes her past—serial incest so severe since infancy that only the hardiest of souls could survive its cognitive weight. However, the birds whisper over the rough terrain, and what Kendra refuses to hear will destroy her future, her life, if she does not help them name her memories.

Dr. Julie Brickman has dealt with severe trauma for over two decades. How the mind copes with trauma is as brilliant and beautiful as Brickman’s depiction of Kendra’s birds flying home to heal their soul-sick creator. Brickman fearlessly takes the reader into dark places, using precise language that evades many authors during uncomfortable dramatic material, but like Kendra, the author cannot escape the truth and delivers it with sparkling resonance, hope, and understanding. Or like Kendra says as she emerges from the hell of her past: “Maybe jokes are pinpoints of light from stars already exploded. For this, she needs words, the exactness of words, and their silence.” What Birds Can Only Whisper gives voice to deep silent suffering and reveals a path to release.

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