Saturday, February 11, 2012


When I first read the synopsis to Sara's Laughter, the allegory was obvious, the storyline intriguing. And the allusion to Abraham and Sarah was indeed a true one; however, the way it manifested itself in Mr. Milton's story was unexpected.

Sara, a young New Yorker, is unable to get pregnant. First her husband has a dream that she'll have a baby, then, later, she has the same dream. Physiologically, it would take a miracle; however, history holds evidence of such miracles.

When Sara's sister, who does not want a child, becomes pregnant, they reach an agreement that seems to suit all. When that dream collapses, Sara is left at a loss. What happens next, though, forms the crux of the story, and Sara learns something interesting about herself through the ordeal that shakes her self-image and affects the strained relationship she's had with her sister throughout her life. The story takes place in both the present and the past, the switching between which might cause a little puzzlement with some readers.

The plot is well conceived, although the way it's delivered may be troublesome to many readers of this blog. The more tenderhearted of readers may become disconcerted with the profanity and spots of crass humor. The main characters deal with heady subjects like troubled family relationships, fornication, adultery and abortion. These topics are rendered in a way many will consider to be realistic, others not so. That impression will probably depend upon the circles one runs in.

Mr. Milton does not shy away from an even discussion of the above topics; however, it's difficult to isolate his views on some of these subjects, Indeed, that may well be part of his design, to leave the results of the debate up to his reader. The evenness is largely delivered through fast-paced dialog, which is well written but unvarnished. Quite simply put, it will likely appeal to those more used to a worldly handling of such moral topics.

This book was provided free of charge for review.
—Bruce Judisch

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