They say ‘lightning doesn’t strike twice.’ But they’re wrong.
Claire Stapleton is living proof. First, she loses her beloved son to war. Then, her husband to another woman. As the life she’s known implodes, she struggles to pick up the pieces – to fit in. And in a small community like Whitfield, that’s harder than she ever dreamed.
Overnight, Claire falls from toast of the town to talk of the town. Long-time friends rally around, but confused and off-balance, Claire finds herself traveling a lonely, unfamiliar road without a map. And there are no detour signs to help her get back on the right track. Spiraling on a self-destructive path, Claire fights to find her way – and a reason to start over.
They say, ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.’ Could they be right?
“The Storm Within” is book one in the Women of Whitfield trilogy. Each book is a companion book featuring one of three long-time friends who live in the fictitious small town of Whitfield, Kansas. They are energetic, involved women who run school events and community fundraisers. They look out for each other, support each other, and have a lot of good times together. Book one introduces all of the gal pals, and features Claire. Book two, “Second Wind” focuses on Dana, single parent and head nurse at the local hospital.
Here’s what reviewers are saying about “The Storm Within”:
– “I completely empathized with Claire, the main character, and hurt along with her through the adversities she had to deal with. I really felt her pain, and was rooting for her to stay strong!”
– ” . . . a beautifully written story told from Claire’s POV that is ripe with emotions, inner turmoil, suffering, denial, and, ultimately, her courage and acceptance. As the reader, I was drawn completely into the emotions of Claire. At one point in the story..my chest felt tight. I felt anger and shame…..I empathized with Claire….I felt her confusion, pain, and fear. …..all barometers for an expressly, well-written book.”
– “Never have I been so emotionally invested in a book before, literally shouting out and cheering on the heroine as she struggles and survives all the obstacles life throws at her.”
READER DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
– Throughout The Storm Within, Claire’s friends are there to support her. Discuss the importance of friendship in this novel as well as in your own life. Would Claire’s outcome have been different without these friendships? Explain your answer.
– What was your reaction to Claire and her situation? Did you empathize with her? Why or why not?
– Claire has a difficult relationship with her daughter. Discuss the differences in her relationship with her daughter and the glimpses that hint at her relationship with her son. Did you find yourself “siding” with one character more than the other? If so, which one, and why?