What People Are Saying

  There is a Crack that runs beneath the feet of all families that ties one generation to the next. It is like a long fault in the earth's surface. Sometimes it appears ominous--wide--as if to swallow up those caught in its path. At other times, it provides a fractured map line through time where ancestors struggle to carve out some meaningful reason for their very existence.
  In Crack Between the Worlds, through very artistic colorful writing, author Carmen Stenholm, paints the lives of four generations, each of which dares to walk the Crack of fractured past history. Stenholm's tale is a glimpse into the hardships and delights of overlapping lives as they journey along: Johanna, Mia, Ella, and young Karen--great grandmother, grandmother, mother, and daughter.
  Author Stenholm's descriptive tale about these four women begins in 1871 when Johanna narrowly escapes death during a murderous raid on her small village, Werda. Adopted, now she must face a world with shocking memories of that hideous outrage where her parents were brutally killed.
  But like Johanna's struggle, the story tells how each succeeding generation faces its own harrowing hardships: two World Wars, the bombing of Dresden, the birth and death of loved ones, the dissolution of marriages, the trip to America. Yet each woman manages to survive. Crack Between the Worlds is an emotional ride; at times filled with horror, regret, sorrow; but then relief, joy and a dose of happiness as its characters develop strength to live on.
  The story cannot help but be realistic because Stenholm's characters are real people. It is fascinating to see needy young girls grow into independent women who are strong enough to reach some semblance of happiness and a satisfying way of life. Crack Between the Worlds will be a fascinating addition to any collection of attention-grabbing novels.

Regis Schilken
Author and teacher (retired)

  A Crack Between the Worlds is an engaging and inspiring story of four generations of mothers and daughters in a 20th Century German family. While the fathers are distant figures, either dead or gone, the women endure. This poignant story is lovingly dedicated to the strength and determination of the maternal line. It beautifully illustrates many of the principles revealed in Family Constellations.

Dan Booth Cohen, PhD
Psychologist/therapist and specialist in Family Constellations

  Stenholm weaves a beautiful story of the female spirit as her characters overcome tragedy and adversity that spans generations and continents. Crack evokes a myriad of emotions from jubilation and ectasy to unspeakable emptiness and heartbreak. The one constant is the strength the women find deep in themselves to survive and better their circumstances and those of their family.

Martine Marino
Physical Therapist, “MPT”

  “Carmen Stenholm’s novel honors the spirit of women from all eras. The lives they led took strength to endure and courage to write about. It was truly a privilege to read their story.”

Amy Harakal
Book Club member / wife, mother

  In thirty-five years of editing, I have seldom fallen in love with characters, seldom been brought to tears of joy and profound despair. This all changed with A Crack Between the Worlds. I love the women who came to life on these pages. They have become my family, my inspiration, too.

Connie Donaldson
Editor of Crack Between the Worlds

  "Poignantly illustrates the resilience of the human spirit and the unsung courage of the average person facing challenging life situations against the backdrop of dramatic historic events."

Ross Donaldson
University instructor

  Some of America's greatest sagas begin in far of places. Carmen Stenholm's first novel is a morphing portrait of three generations of German women as they grow up, grow strong, and grow beyond their societal expectations. Hanni, Mia, and Ella are colorful threads in a tapestry woven in Europe but decorating American walls. Frank. Loving. Beautiful. Historical fiction at it's best!

Joyce Faulkner, author of the Award-winning historical novel, IN THE SHADOW OF SURIBACHI, and President of the Military Writers Society of America
Author of award-winning "In the Shadow of Suribachi", "Losing Patience", and "For Shrieking Out Loud." Co-author of "Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors" President of MWSA

  Crack Between the Worlds is not just a beautifully written and poignant personal account of four strong women that spans generations, continents, and oceans, but also a wonderful lesson in history and its effects on personal lives.
  As an educator, this is a book that I would highly recommend to my students in order for them to gain a better comprehension of history, a finer appreciation of other cultures, and an enhanced sense of how history impacts individuals. Personal accounts of history are always those that students remember most. They bring history itself vividly to life and allow students to keenly realize how politics, governments, and decisions made in “high places” can change, and even destroy, the lives of people we have come to care about.
  Making history and culture interesting, real, tangible, and understandable is my goal as a teacher. I see Crack Between the Worlds as an excellent tool towards achieving that important objective.

Patricia Silva, Educator, Western New York