EDITORIAL REVIEWS

 “Monica Starkman offers a penetrating look at the drastic capabilities  of the obsessed mind. Written beautifully and carefully, at just the  right pace, The End of Miracles is a thoroughly compelling piece of  work.”

—Roger Rosenblatt, New York Times bestselling author, literary editor of The New Republic, essayist for Washington Post and Time magazine


The End of Miracles  is a compelling, empathic novel about a woman whose desperate wish for a  child vividly evokes the pain and longing associated with infertility  and builds to a climax worthy of a thriller.”

—Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Author of Single Jewish Male Seeking Soul Mate and founding editor of Ms Magazine


“Starkman,  a prominent psychiatrist, beautifully captures one woman’s journey  through depression in this superbly well-written and gripping first  novel, which powerfully reveals the complexity and strength of the human  mind.”

—Booklist


“For Margo Kerber, the novel’s stoic  and sensitive protagonist, the path to motherhood has been troubled  from the start. An unexpectedly joyful pregnancy (is) followed by a  miscarriage. Afterward, when Margo’s body produces false pregnancy  symptoms and cruelly tricks her again, it is clear that she’s been  driven to a breaking point. Margo’s collapse, unraveling, and gradual  recovery bring a conclusion of forgiveness and hope. Best of all is  Starkman’s portrait of Margo―a flawed yet admirably strong victim of  circumstance and biology who refuses to be a victim anymore.”

—Foreword Reviews


“Interesting, realistic, exciting, moving. I strongly recommend it.”

—Harriette Simpson Arnow, author of The Dollmaker, and finalist for Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award


“A  powerful and emotionally gripping novel by one of the great  psychosomatic medicine psychiatrists of our time. Highly recommended for  all those fascinated by psychiatric illness, treatment, and the impact  relationships can have on healing.”

—Michelle Riba, M.D., M.S., Past President of American Psychiatric Association


“Monica Starkman’s The End of Miracles is as cinematic as it is suspenseful.”

—Rochel Urist, award-winning playwright
 

RECENT READER REVIEWS

 SH- 5.0 out of 5 stars - "Couldn't put it down"

Loved this novel from start to finish. Couldn't put it down. Have bought it for a few friends. Such a thrilling, thoughtful and well crafted story. Thoroughly recommend.


LB - 5.0 out of 5 stars - The End of Miracles was a captivating journey into the psyche of Margo Kerber, a seemingly normal woman with a simple desire, to have a child. After years of heartbreak trying to conceive on their own, and a late-term miscarriage, Margo is haunted by feelings of failure as a mother and sent into a spiraling depression. One phantom pregnancy and a psychotic break later Margo finds herself fleeing the hospital where she is being treated. Undone by her mistakes, Margo is left to pick up the pieces of her life and try to start anew. The End of Miracles left me thinking, “Surely I wouldn’t go to such lengths to become a mother.....or would I?”


5.0 out of 5 stars - What I love about this story is that it isn't far off

By AF March 29, 2018

Format: Audible Audiobook

The End of Miracles immediately caught my attention when I read the blurb. As one who has dealt with miscarriage and infertility, I wanted to gain perspective on how Starkman would tackle such a difficult issue and make it relatable and entertaining for listeners. I believe she did just that. The main character, Margo had her heart and mind set on motherhood. Due to several failed attempts at IVF her hopes are diminished and leads her down a path of temporary insanity. What I love about this story is that it isn't far off. It isn't over the top or unrealistic. When we are faced with heartache, sometimes it causes us to snap and act out of our fear and hurt. When Margo was given the news after her last doctor's appointment, I felt it. I identified with the pain because I'd been there. Nothing about this story seemed to be fiction. It was taken right out of the pages of my own life, up to a point of course. Through Margo's breakdown, I began to share in those moments of regret, pain and sorrow. I reflected on the reasons why I wanted to be a mother and what made that so important to me. My story in that aspect isn't like Margo's but it did help me identify some of my reasoning. Margo's husband played a major role in that he was able to share his thoughts about Margo's breakdown and how, like many men, tend to hold in their emotions and not speak on them. I was glad to see that he took advantage of speaking to a therapist so he could deal with his loss and grief. I don't want to tell the entire story, but I'll say this one is good for anyone who's had to deal with loss and to a point rejection. I am glad I was able to listen to this book and it gave me a sense of closure on my own miracles. Jane Oppenheimer was excellent. She tapped into the emotions of the characters with ease as she seemed to have been able to relate to the MC. Her interpretation was believable and I've gained a new narrator to follow. I highly recommend this book.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Audio review

By NB on March 17, 2018

Format: Paperback

This audio took me several different sittings to get through. Not because of the writing or narration but because I often felt the need to reflect and digest what I had just heard. I needed to take the time to think about how I truly felt about what the character was going through in relation to my own beliefs and also in relation to what I’ve been taught and have seen as a nurse. The story was so well crafted and relatable to what I believe is more common, in one extreme or the other, then we publicly see. Jane Oppenheimer is a new narrator to me. She did such a fantastic job of pulling off all the emotions from terrified and scared, confused, depressed, hope and joy, she really had me believing and investing in Margo’s journey and decent. This is a deep and personal journey that I believe all listeners will enjoy for numerous reasons. If you’ve never experienced or had any experience with infertility or psychological problems, then the suspenseful and powerful ending will definitely grab you and make you reevaluate what you thought was right and wrong and how powerful the mind truly is.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A literary novel of psychological suspense.

By RH- March 17, 2018

Format: Audible Audiobook Verified Purchase

This is a beautifully written story chronicling a woman’s obsessive need to be a mother that will nearly cost the lives of a stranger’s infant and the woman herself. Ultimately, with the guidance of a skilled psychiatrist, this woman will develop the insights and the skills needed to move beyond that obsession and to live a healthier perhaps happier, more fulfilled life. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a character driven story that explores the mysteries of the psyche and its impact on our physical being. The author, Monica Starkman, is a gifted writer whose prose is at times quite lyrical. The End of Miracles is written with the insight and compassion that only a skilled mental health clinician could render. The subtleties the writer captures within the totality of protagonist’s life as a: wife, friend, volunteer, career woman and patient makes this a rich and satisfying read. Nurses and clinical social workers might find this book especially enjoyable. I've seldom read a psychological suspense novel with such an accurate and nuanced depiction of a person struggling with a serious, acute mental health break. (Actually, I can’t remember another that reaches this caliber.) The portrayal of the protagonist’s professional life as a hospital administrator contrasting the conflicts and frustrations involved as that department struggled to budget cost effective, quality patient care during a time when nurses were grappling to redefine their professional role is well drawn. As a nurse who has worked exclusively with psychiatric patients in hospital settings I found this book relatable and accurately depicted. I do like that in a book.


4.0 out of 5 stars "The End of Miracles" provided an important insight into a ...

By EF January 23, 2018

Format: Paperback

"The End of Miracles" provided an important insight into a difficult world of infertility, loss and mental illness through the lens of a relatable couple facing challenges that are probably more common than many of us are aware.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Written with authenticity and compassion

By NT December 16, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

I listen to this heartbreaking story on audible. It is an excellent performance. They story is heart wrenching and hope. I can't imagine going through such a sorrow. And the description of mental illness, and hospitals and doctors is spot on with authenticity and compassion. Highly recommend!


5.0 out of 5 stars - The End of Miracles is a spellbinding fast-paced read—a beautifully written debut novel

By DR. D.on April 25, 2016

The End of Miracles is a spellbinding fast-paced read—a beautifully written debut novel. Particularly so for those interested in mind-body connections. As someone who suffered unrelieved grief for years over the death of my young mother in childbirth, I identified with Margo, with the hidden damage done by the death of her beloved father. No child should ever have to grieve the death of a loved one alone. If left to one’s own devices, the mind can play deadly tricks on the body. And vice-versa. Highly recommended.


5.0 out of 5 stars...A gripping account of severe postpartum depression with the ring of truth.

By CP- May 5, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Monica Starkman's beautifully-written and perfectly-paced debut novel should appeal to anyone who enjoys a good read and especially to those with an interest in mental health issues. The central character, Margo, has a strong marriage, a supportive husband, and a satisfying career, but without the child she longs for her life seems incomplete. When an almost miraculous pregnancy ends in a hopelessly premature delivery, Margo's life goes seriously off the rails. The author is a prominent psychiatrist and her descriptions of Margo's overwhelming grief, her descent into depression, her treatment, her truly shocking crisis, and her eventual recovery and redemption have the ring of truth. I warmly recommend this book and hope to see more from this author.

4.0 out of 5 stars - Wonder, awe, joy, and loss


By TR -  July 25, 2016

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

My favorite parts of this book all occur when the protagonist is cherishing the thought of her unborn child's development. Her wonder, awe, and joy as she imagines tiny fingernails and other precious human parts slowly taking shape are beautifully rendered. This close observation makes the protagonist's harrowing late miscarriage feel like a personal loss for the reader. The author has spent her life as a close and compassionate observer of human minds and hearts, and her great experience and insight give credence to this novel's disturbing substance. I hope the protagonist goes on to become a mother through adoption, as I very happily did (and wrote about, in Two Little Girls: A Memoir of Adoption). The End of Miracles is an affecting exploration of an extreme version of the pain many people feel when they cannot become biological parents.


4.0 out of 5 stars - A psychologically suspenseful read about a pregnancy wish.

By Amazon Customer on July 17, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The End of Miracles is a beautifully-written suspenseful novel. Fantasies, dreams, conflicts and defenses are vividly portrayed, and a psychiatrist at work is a key character. Following infertility and grief after a late miscarriage, Margo Kerber believes herself pregnant again, but when the ultrasound reveals this is a trick her body and mind are playing on her, her mental processes unravel further. We are taken on a journey from childhood imaginative fantasy to the strange content of dreams, and from normal defenses to breaks with reality testing. Dr. Starkman portrays this vividly with an awesome descriptive ability to make us feel we are right there as an observer of Margo’s inner and outer worlds. “The End of Miracles” gives us an account of the multi-determinants that can go into any one impulsive action. It informs and it entertains. We can only hope this debut novel will have its successors. The End of Miracles is a beautifully-written suspenseful novel. Fantasies, dreams, conflicts and defenses are vividly portrayed, and a psychiatrist at work is a key character. Following infertility and grief after a late miscarriage, Margo Kerber believes herself pregnant again, but when the ultrasound reveals this is a trick her body and mind are playing on her, her mental processes unravel further. We are taken on a journey from childhood imaginative fantasy to the strange content of dreams, and from normal defenses to breaks with reality testing. Dr. Starkman portrays this vividly with an awesome descriptive ability to make us feel we are right there as an observer of Margo’s inner and outer worlds. “The End of Miracles” gives us an account of the multi-determinants that can go into any one impulsive action. It informs and it entertains. We can only hope this debut novel will have its successors. The End of Miracles is a beautifully-written suspenseful novel. Fantasies, dreams, conflicts and defenses are vividly portrayed, and a psychiatrist at work is a key character. Following infertility and grief after a late miscarriage, Margo Kerber believes herself pregnant again, but when the ultrasound reveals this is a trick her body and mind are playing on her, her mental processes unravel further. We are taken on a journey from childhood imaginative fantasy to the strange content of dreams, and from normal defenses to breaks with reality testing. Dr. Starkman portrays this vividly with an awesome descriptive ability to make us feel we are right there as an observer of Margo’s inner and outer worlds. “The End of Miracles” gives us an account of the multi-determinants that can go into any one impulsive action. It informs and it entertains. We can only hope this debut novel will have its successors. The End of Miracles is a beautifully-written suspenseful novel. Fantasies, dreams, conflicts and defenses are vividly portrayed, and a psychiatrist at work is a key character. Following infertility and grief after a late miscarriage, Margo Kerber believes herself pregnant again, but when the ultrasound reveals this is a trick her body and mind are playing on her, her mental processes unravel further. We are taken on a journey from childhood imaginative fantasy to the strange content of dreams, and from normal defenses to breaks with reality testing. Dr. Starkman portrays this vividly with an awesome descriptive ability to make us feel we are right there as an observer of Margo’s inner and outer worlds. “The End of Miracles” gives us an account of the multi-determinants that can go into any one impulsive action. It informs and it entertains. We can only hope this debut novel will have its successors. The End of Miracles is a beautifully-written suspenseful novel. Fantasies, dreams, conflicts and defenses are vividly portrayed, and a psychiatrist at work is a key character. Following infertility and grief after a late miscarriage, Margo Kerber believes herself pregnant again, but when the ultrasound reveals this is a trick her body and mind are playing on her, her mental processes unravel further. We are taken on a journey from childhood imaginative fantasy to the strange content of dreams, and from normal defenses to breaks with reality testing. Dr. Starkman portrays this vividly with an awesome descriptive ability to make us feel we are right there as an observer of Margo’s inner and outer worlds. “The End of Miracles” gives us an account of the multi-determinants that can go into any one impulsive action. It informs and it entertains. We can only hope this debut novel will have its successors.


4.0 out of 5 stars - A compelling tale of desperation, depression and near redemption

By Amazon Customer on May 6, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Monica Starkman has created a moving, engrossing and original story that kept me seated by the fireplace for the full read. It is ultimately a tragic story with a hopeful outcome, one in which the author demonstrates her full psychiatric training in a way that both convinces and instructs the reader through a compelling tale of desperation, depression and near redemption. It is a well-told story of a woman's desperate quest for motherhood and the completeness of family, and of the pain, humiliation and solitariness of infertility and the treatment that tries to address it. The novel evokes empathy and compassion and wonderment at the fragility and resilience of the human spirit.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A realistic, but compassionate look at how a mind can go off the tracks

By MM on August 23, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I enjoyed reading this book very much. The author is an experienced clinician in her field of psychiatry with a special expertise in psychosomatic illness. She brings that understanding to a beautifully written story of a normal, functioning woman who becomes psychotic. The reader is let into a mind that loses its grip on reality in a completely believable way and for understandable reasons. Not a small accomplishment. All the while, the prose is smooth, lyrical at times, and clear. While the story is compelling, it also instructs the reader about mental illness and its treatment. I particularly appreciated scenes where bewildered friends express their guilt about not recognizing the protagonists' severe mental anguish and intervening to help. It captures how helpless we all feel when someone goes off the tracks as happens much too often in today's horrific news events. The scene provides us with a certain amount of forgiveness.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Loved it

By Amazon Customer on July 26, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I finished this book in 3 days - absolutely loved it, could not put the book down! Margo is such a complex character that she had me rooting for her happiness and I needed to find out if she would indeed have something resembling a 'happy ending'. The subject of infertility, miscarriage and postpartum depression is a tough one to tackle and the author wrote from both a heartfelt, seemingly personal - and clinical perspective. I'm still thinking about Margo days later...she made quite an impression. Highly recommend!


4.0 out of 5 stars - A True Depiction

By C. Reading on March 17, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

This book was, for the most part, a very true depiction of infertility and child loss. I credit the author for being able to convey the emotional turmoil involved. As someone who has been through a similar situation, this story was incredibly emotional and true to life. (I almost wish it had come with a trigger warning) The story was full of the hope, despair, and resolution that all come with the territory and I was pleased to see that nothing was sugar coated and that the author did not go for the traditionally lame happy ending. All of that being said, I do wish that the author hadn't made the psychiatrist/patient relationship seem so simple to form in the story. The fact that the character hit rock bottom and then a few months later had a great bond with her therapist rang a bit untrue to me. Still, I would definitely recommend this book for it's more realistic aspects.


5.0 out of 5 stars - What a great book!

By Amazon Customer on August 15, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This is really a great book and I really enjoyed reading it. I met the author in the context of her professional research and had no idea of her talent as a novelist, but I am not surprised. This is a really well-written and sensitive book, and the bonus is that there is a lot of information about post-partum depression and what actually happens when "normal" people need to access mental health care. I was moved by the characters and felt that although this is a novel, this could be based on something true. I really recommend this book.


A fascinating inside look at Psychiatry

By FB on July 23, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

A woman’s compelling journey through anxiety, hope, loss, depression, delusion, disaster, redemption and hope that once begun, is not easily put down before the end. Dr. Starkman’s skillful imagery also gives the reader a strong sense of ‘being there’ on every page, with the bonus of a fascinating inside view of psychiatric emergency help and rescue.

5.0 out of 5 stars - A compelling, sympathetic story

By T. on May 21, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Monica Starkman has written a novel that is sensitive and beautifully written. The narrative is compelling and made this reader want to keep turning pages to learn what happens next. And I would love to talk with Marge over a cup of coffee one of these days.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Fascinating psychological novel

By OP -  July 10, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

The novel is a psychological probe of a troubled woman who desperately wants to have a child. The author's insights, compassion and expertise gently guide the reader through the complex web of the modern medical system through an understanding of psychiatry, obstetrics and the law. Only someone with Dr. Starkman's sensitive voice could take on such challenging topics and engage readers so completely.


4.0 out of 5 stars - It is easy to find something that resonates with you in this ...

By Amazon Customer on October 19, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Monica Starkman gives us an effective, and empathic window into the emotional states of her characters, and the challenging interplays among loss, self-image/self-perception, and stigma about mental illness. It is easy to find something that resonates with you in this story, whether as parent, patient, co-worker or community-member shopper. Recommended for those seeking to gain a unique perspective on aspects of mental illness and suffering.

-GD, MD


5.0 out of 5 stars  - Monica is an amazing writer, and the story itself was haunting

By NW on December 9, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

It was unlike any novel I have ever read before. Ms. Starkman is an amazing writer, and the story itself was haunting. I have been thinking about it for the past few weeks since I finished reading it.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Starkman writes beautifully which makes the story flow with ease and intelligence

By I July 30, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Dr. Starkman writes beautifully which makes the story flow with ease and intelligence. I enjoyed this fictional though quite clinically based novel about what pain and longing might look like for one so desperate to conceive a child.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A heartfelt and nuanced medical thriller

By Amazon Customer on May 10, 2016

Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase

I read to the end in an excited blaze last night. A finely crafted work full of emotional and psychiatric insights. A heartfelt and nuanced medical thriller.

SW, MD


5.0 out of 5 stars - A psychological mystery with characters you really get to know and care about.

By R June 7, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I loved this book. It is a well-written suspenseful novel with characters you really get to know and care about. As a psychological mystery it seems quite authentic, so that learning that the author is a prominent psychiatrist is not surprising. The psychological effect on a woman of difficulty in conceiving and the use of IVF are well presented in a captivating way.


4.0 out of 5 stars - Enjoyed this book!

By SF on August 14, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

It was a pleasure to read this novel of sorrow, loss, depression and desperation that works to a realistic ending that is hopeful, yet not overdone. I would definitely recommend this book.


5.0 out of 5 stars - An emotionally powerful read!

By Amazon Customer on May 17, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I read this book in 5 days & enjoyed every page. The character descriptions touched me. There were many times where I felt such strong emotions. Great writing, loved the details, character development, & story. Gained insight


By CK on April 20, 2017

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

In addition to being an interesting story, I enjoyed reading this book because I learned a lot. It is gratifying to become enlightened and more knowledgeable about a subject when investing time to read fiction. This is a dramatized of a fictional but conceivable case study. Monica Starkman is a consummate professional.


5.0 out of 5 stars - I enjoyed this book totally

By Amazon Customer on June 22, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

I enjoyed this book totally! could hardly put it down. Subject treated with gentleness. Learned to respect the main character.I enjoyed the details.felt it was a movie running in my head! Fantastic!


4.0 out of 5 stars - Can a woman be whole without bearing a child

By MH on May 9, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I found the first part of this novel difficult to read. Margo, the main character, in this book, is infertile. She is obsessed with bearing her own child and develops severe mental illness once she is forced to accept that she will never bear a child. Margo's father committed suicide when she was a child and her current situation triggers those emotions and fears. The characterizations of Margo, her husband and her hospital coworkers are very well written and seems very real. Since the author is a well known psychiatrist, the descriptions of Margo's illness and coping mechanisms are certainly authentic. I enjoyed the second half of the book more than the first part, Partly because there was more hope and solutions. A good read. Y anyone interested in the human mind and how it can be affected by life's events and how it can be healed.


5.0 out of 5 stars - This book will leave you breathless!

By CW on May 3, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

Margo Kerber has a successful career and marriage. However, she has unsuccessfully for years tried to have a child with her husband Steven. To be truly happy, she believes she must have a child. Margo grew up with a mom who was constantly pregnant and with children underfoot. This has been ingrained into her mind – she must have a child to be happy. "No, Margo corrected herself. Fertile times were what other women had. She had only seeding times, times to be sprinkled with sperm. This entailed planning and effort and work, the way preparation of the field was work to the farmer. But for her, it seemed, there was little hope of a harvest." Then one glorious morning she comes to realize that she may just be pregnant and miracles of miracles, the test proves she is pregnant!!!! Her world is complete until tragedy strikes. Now she must pick up the pieces with Steven and bury their small unborn child that miscarried late in the pregnancy. Her grief turns to denial then to depression. Lost in her world of pain and grief, Margo believes herself pregnant again – the signs are there. A small baby bump, missed periods, fluttering – everything. When the doctor finally convinces her she is not pregnant, she takes a swan dive into a deeper and more deadly depression landing her in a psychiatric ward at the hospital. Margo is spiraling out of control, stepping far beyond the line of reality and falls deeper in her fantasy; a fantasy that is pushing her to commit an unthinkable and shocking crime. “Look, when the doctors told me these feelings and thoughts would pass when I got better, I wouldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe. But it’s true. Please try and remember that when it’s really bad.” Maybe for you, Margo thinks. Maybe it’s true for you. I’ll never feel better, because I don’t deserve to." Monica Starkman is a distinguished psychiatrist who has professionally researched women’s experiences with infertility, pregnancy, labor and their effects on women. Starkman is a creative wordsmith who draws the reader into this fragile world of Margo’s and vividly reveals intimate feelings of loss and grief. A quick trip into a reality based fantasy that leaves one realizing that there is always a time for compassion and forgiveness. Although it is oftentimes difficult to forgive and move forward, sometimes one cannot forgive others because their own guilt gets in the way. Starkman takes her readers on a long emotional ride, giving them insight into a devastating condition. A very moving book that had me wishing I could reach out and help Margo and Steven but knowing I could not. Perhaps this was Starkman’s goal, to demonstrate how futile it is for those of us who have never experienced such grief to truly help or understand. Her words are powerful and haunting. This is a must read book! Well written, the story flows smoothly. Each character is well developed. The plot and characters are realistic. Starkman leaves nothing to chance; she is detailed in building connections between the reader and her characters. Your heart strings will be pulled and tugged on until you are almost breathless! CW The End of Miracles: A Novel with a 5 star rating.


5.0 out of 5 stars Audio review

By NB on March 17, 2018

Format: Paperback

This audio took me several different sittings to get through. Not because of the writing or narration but because I often felt the need to reflect and digest what I had just heard. I needed to take the time to think about how I truly felt about what the character was going through in relation to my own beliefs and also in relation to what I’ve been taught and have seen as a nurse. The story was so well crafted and relatable to what I believe is more common, in one extreme or the other, then we publicly see. Jane Oppenheimer is a new narrator to me. She did such a fantastic job of pulling off all the emotions from terrified and scared, confused, depressed, hope and joy, she really had me believing and investing in Margo’s journey and decent. This is a deep and personal journey that I believe all listeners will enjoy for numerous reasons. If you’ve never experienced or had any experience with infertility or psychological problems, then the suspenseful and powerful ending will definitely grab you and make you reevaluate what you thought was right and wrong and how powerful the mind truly is.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Starkman says it best herself: “This is the story of a woman ...

By BSN - on May 3, 2016

Format: Paperback

The psychological journey of Margo Kerber, in Monica Starkman’s The End of Miracles is the nightmare of anyone who has endured the torturous path of infertility. Starkman says it best herself: “This is the story of a woman who unravels psychologically after harrowing infertility and miscarriage, the drastic choices she makes, and the doctors and close ones who try to save her.” Yes, and…. It is a deliberate clinical presentation married to a spare but poignant prose style that takes full advantage of Dr. Starkman’s expertise as a psychiatrist, and her obvious chops as a literary person. Whether reading as an objective observer, or one intimately familiar with the territory, The End of Miracles will fascinate.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Interesting author perspective, as a professor of psychiatry emeritus

By GE on April 26, 2016

Format: Paperback

I received an advanced reader copy of this book and loved it. What I loved about this book was the powerful storytelling technique that Dr. Starkman has. I really flew through the end of the book and couldn't wait to find out what happened next. Dr. Starkman also did a wonderful job of providing educational background for readers at the beginning of some of the chapters. It was just enough to set the stage for what was coming next. I recommend this book for readers interested in psychiatry and looking to get a peek inside the mind of someone working through an intense life challenge.


5.0 out of 5 stars - The End of Miracles - a moving and gripping book

By JF on April 23, 2016

Format: Paperback

This is a fantastic and illuminating read, a page-turner that is hard to put down until its satisfying conclusion. Monica Starkman writes beautifully about her protagonist Margo's gradual descent from mental anguish to deep depression. As a psychiatrist and woman, Dr. Starkman is able to illustrate with knowledge and compassion how Margo's tendency to avoid and compartmentalize painful feelings and experiences leads her to synthesize a false pregnancy - and after this illusion is inevitably shattered, how she finds an even more desperate way to obtain the child she always wanted. With often gorgeously lyrical prose, Starkman carries her readers through Margo's journey into mental illness and back to healing. As Margo learns about herself, we can learn about ourselves and how our own manner of dealing with painful circumstances may help or hinder us, as well as how we can find a path to greater self understanding and wellness.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Hope steps in where miracles end

By EN May 24, 2018

Format: Paperback

The film rights to this book have sold, and the screenwriter won’t have to work very hard. The story is written as one we follow easily with our eyes, as not-too-distant observers, and with mounting uneasiness of the heart that explodes in the latter third of the book. Margo Kerber pushing 40 and at the end of a long and sad journey through infertility. She and her husband have rejected the options of surrogacy and adoption. Margo teeters on the brink of yearning so intense, it triggers . . . what? I once read a book by a man who had been “State Commissioner in Lunacy” (yes!) for New York in the 1880s. He pondered the definition of insanity, and put forth the idea that all of us have it within us to, at a given moment, lapse into “derangement,” “peculiarity,” go “wrong in the upper story” or “out of gear.” The critical variable is the trigger, which may or may not ever appear. Margo functions as an able and well-loved hospital administrator, community volunteer, wife, and friend, until a verdict on her infertility pulls that trigger and sets off a chain of events and behaviors, one more unexpected and shocking than the next. Her descent into mental illness and its consequences becomes a story with as many legal implications as medical. The author is a psychiatrist who’s seen it all and could have chosen a dozen different endings, from devastating to sappy. She chose realism spiked with hope. She knows well that medicine doesn’t have all the answers, but that hope is a path almost always open to those willing to explore its detours. Well done, Dr. Starkman! See you on the big screen, Margo! A closely observed, real story that is rarely told.


By MF on January 24, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

“The End of Miracles” takes us into the terrifying world of a woman who loses her mind and her judgment after too many blows fall on her, one after the other. Dr. Starkman traces the process by which a relatively ordinary and functional woman breaks down – and shows the extent of the damage society does by insisting that every woman want and bear children. When the heroine is unable to do so, her mind unravels. The expert way in which this is shown in the novel speaks of long experience. The action scenes are terrific, worthy of a good crime novel or first-rate medical television show. Although the heroine is immobilized for a while, the plot is strong enough, and unpredictable enough, to keep the reader captivated. And we learn just how much difference psychotherapy can make to someone who is desperate. This book is a contribution to increasing compassion for people who have been subjected to more stress than they can take.


4.0 out of 5 stars - Take nothing for granted!

By Amazon Customer on April 20, 2016

Format: Paperback

Starkman is psychologically astute and clinically accurate. Her writing is lyrical. Consider the book’s opening sentences. "The dream was always the same—a flood of babies dribbling out of her mouth, dozens, tumbling head over heels. It was like coming up from the sea sputtering a mouthful of water, salty and alive with life forms. The dream was not frightening, not even unpleasant, but today Margo didn’t want to linger with it, with the strange images, the faint sensation on her lips and tongue. Better to get up, move about, dispel all traces of it. She opened her eyes, and the babies flickered and faded as they disintegrated into the room’s darkness." The story that follows that dream is gripping. It unfolds in ways that are vividly cinematic. Margo, the story’s protagonist, is desperate to conceive a child. Disappointed, she rents a cheap hotel room and heads to the shopping center, where she finds herself beside a woman pushing a baby carriage. What follows is shocking. The hitherto upstanding, courteous, conventional, law-abiding Margo begins to spiral downward through a legal and psychotic tunnel that defies reason—but not logic. Desperately unhappy, she takes desperate measures to restore hope—and mental balance. Rather than spoil the book’s delicious suspense, I will include no more details. Suffice it to say that Margo and her husband are restored to each other and to civilization as they knew it. She learns to live with new expectations. All is not well, exactly, but life becomes bearable. The sun may even shine again. It’s rare that I give a book five stars. The five-star category belongs to such writers as Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, Anne Tyler, Tillie Olsen, Oliver Sacks. I give few books four stars, but this one is in that category.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A Brilliant Compelling Story of The Need to be a Mother

By CB on November 5, 2017

Format: Paperback

The End of Miracles is a compelling story of a woman's desire to have a baby, one that is so universal, so familiar, that to Margo, her need becomes an obsession. Although this book sounded despairing, there is always the hope of redemption; it captured me and I found it hard to put down. As Margo tries again and again to conceive, she is exuberant when she unexpectedly finds she is pregnant. He life crashes when she sadly miscarries at a late date, and she spirals down into a deep depression and commits an unthinkable deed. There are many events of goodness in this poignant story as it unfolds, for tears and smiles held me captive. I especially enjoyed the knowledge that psychotherapy was explored in depth as Margo goes through a intensive process. Will Margo be facing legal issues as the result of her actions, will others involved in this story - her husband Steve, another woman Renee find justice and peace? Life is a process, not an event, not everything is what is seems. This book fits this idea in a very real way that many women can relate to, heal through the darkest of times. Thanks to Monica Starkman, the author who gifted me this book, her professional knowledge that she provided as a writer was very real and insightful to readers understanding of mental illness. Although this book may not be right for everyone, I loved this book and highly recommend it!


5.0 out of 5 stars - The dark side of maternity

By JO May 15, 2016

Format: Paperback

A moving and thought-provoking story of Margo Kerber, a young woman whose deep need for the baby she is unable to have turns her world dark. Her story begins like that of so many women who are haunted by their infertility, but becomes something much more than normal grief as Margo’s body and mind spiral into the vortex of psychosis. What happens next is something very few of us can even imagine, and usually certainly not condone. Yet Margo’s plight is written with such empathy that, like her dedicated and loving husband, we find ourselves on her side, in spite of every maternal cell in our bodies pulling the other way. This is not an easy story to read, but a powerful one, and one that will leave you with as many questions as answers.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Looking for a book to challenge your own thinking? This is IT! A definite read.......

By Amazon Customer on May 3, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

The End of Miracles This dramatic, psychological thriller by Monica Starkman left me deeply confused - NOT about the book but about myself! I always thought I knew right from wrong. As I read this beautifully written novel I was simply enjoying the graphic details, the ups and down of a mid-level administrator, and the heart-tugging storyline. When the dramatic saga unfolded I thought I knew what the outcome would be. When it was frighteningly different from what was anticipated, I struggled to understand where 'I' had gone wrong in my thinking! Should Margo have been more severely punished for her act? Should she have been more deeply pitied? Am I so judgmental? What on earth happened to this intelligent, healthy, happily married young woman? Why did her husband stay with her? The sudden deterioration in her mental health shocked me. Or was it so sudden? But not on the second read....in spite of modern medicine, failure to conceive became a slow, lonely, emotionally painful process. Her body had failed her. And then her mind.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A moving and realistic story

By KM on August 9, 2016

Format: Paperback

Dr. Starkman’s book, End of Miracles, is an emotionally intense story about a woman whose infertility triggers a mental breakdown. Although the book is almost 400 pages, I was completely engaged and finished the book in a few days. Starkman’s descriptive style of writing transforms you to the place and time of the story. Her expertise as a psychiatrist provides depth and reality to the story. Her description of the main character’s unexpected fall into, and struggle with, deep depression coupled with psychosis helps the reader understand how heart-wrenching infertility is and how mental illness can strike anyone. This story stirs your empathy and provides a critical perspective of how important non-judgmental support is to recovery.


5.0 out of 5 stars The End of Miracles is a very good read, particularly as it tackles a very sensitive ...

By F in NJ on September 7, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

As a psychiatrist, the author clearly has a deep understanding of those who are traumatized by the pain of infertility. She makes this heart-rending story credible as she writes about Margo, who wants desperately to have a child, and also accessible even as she writes from the perspective of a clinician.The novel builds in dramatic tension in the second half – the turning point was unexpected, at least by this reader – and the last pages are gripping. Ms. Starkman does not gloss over Margo's profound despair, yet she manages to shine hope on the future. The End of Miracles is a very good read, particularly as it tackles a very sensitive topic.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A powerful portrayal of the dangerous slippery slope called depression

By E. on August 9, 2016

Format: Paperback

The seemingly all together, healthy, organized protagonist, a perfect wife, a good daughter, a helpful colleague, a loyal friend, a devoted volunteer desires only one thing - to become a mother. But this one wish is not so easily achievable. No logic, organization, husband's love or support of nurse friend can solve the problem. Prayers go unheard. The descent of this wonderful woman into loneliness, isolation, despair, is typical of the symptoms of deepening depression that needs to be treated. They cause pain and suffering, yet no realization that active steps need to be taken to battle them. A fascinating insight into a world of ordinary people who suddenly find themselves overcome by mental illness. It is a classic yet tragic portrait of so many who don't know the symptoms of depression and don't seek medical attention - they don't understand it and thus do not believe that depression is as real of a disease as any physical one. The author, a renowned psychiatrist herself, paints a stunning picture of the collapse into the world of chaos than can stem from this lack of knowledge. She masterfully uses her expertise to bring to attention the symptoms of developing mental illness and the consequences of not treating it in time. A powerful lesson!


5.0 out of 5 stars - I bought it, I read it, I love it.

By HS on August 4, 2016

Format: Paperback

I bought The End of Miracles, I read it, I love it – a well crafted page-turner dealing with infertility and the havoc it wreaks on the life of a woman yearning for a baby. It is a story of loss and pain, of passion and obsession leaving no room for clear thinking. It sets us thinking: What do we do when our deepest emotional need remains unfulfilled? And again, what is the source of our resilience, our emotional strength to cope with serious disappointments? Why do some of us, when faced with life’s traumas, manage to ‘dust off’ and ‘keep going’ while others collapse into severe mental illness? This novel is a fascinating story of a woman on the brink of madness and the internal strengths and external help that lead her towards healing and self-forgiveness. It is well worth reading.

Page Turner


By MM on July 21, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

I read this book on a recommendation from a friend, it's not normally the type of book I would pick up. Well I guess I need to start picking up different kinds of books; this book was an excellent page turner. I think the emotions Margot feels are not unique to her and so it's easy to picture yourself or somebody you love in her shoes. Then the unthinkable and you realize how fragile a person's mental state really is. I had a hard time putting the book down, I would sneak away just to get a few more pages in. Highly recommended.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Wonderful book

By NM on July 18, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition

The End of Miracles by Monica Starkman, M.D., is a beautifully written novel about a woman’s desperate longing to become pregnant and her near-tragic efforts to have a child. Her character experiences a miscarriage and then has a pseudo pregnancy. Dr. Starkman, a psychiatrist, combines her professional training and experience with her empathy and caring to develop a compelling and suspenseful story. She gives the reader an amazing insight into mental illness as she portrays her character’s sinking into a deep depression. She then reveals the processes of psychiatric care and hospitalization in comfortable, reassuring, layman’s terms. This book is a most interesting read, warm and at times so exciting that it is hard to put down. Dr. Starkman develops a convincing character who will both charm and haunt you. Readers will find the book educational and inspiring. I highly recommend this novel for all.


5.0 out of 5 stars - The End of Miracles - Face paced, eloquent

By Amazon Customer on January 18, 2017

Format: Paperback

The End of Miracles is a great book. It is a wonderful combination of fast paced reading with eloquent prose. The plot is interesting and the story engrossing. It is the story of one woman’s psychological unraveling, exploring the boundaries between sanity and depression, madness and healing. Starkman's own expertise as a psychiatrist is evident in the story, she captures the journey through depression and ultimately reveals the strength of the human mind


5.0 out of 5 stars - Written with authenticity and compassion

By N. December 16, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

I listen to this heartbreaking story on audible. It is an excellent performance. They story is heart wrenching and hope. I can't imagine going through such a sorrow. And the description of mental illness, and hospitals and doctors is spot on with authenticity and compassion. Highly recommend!


5.0 out of 5 stars -An Extraordinary Journey into the life, the soul, and the body, of a woman struggling to face her inability to bear a child.

By BN- September 8, 2016

Format: Paperback

This first novel brings keen insight into the mind and life of a woman struggling with infertility, and the complex challenges she faces. Dr. Starkman uses her psychiatric expertise to compassionately teach the reader about passion gone awry and how psychotherapy for a patient and her partner can assist in making peace and bringing solace to those who are so very troubled. The characters are beautifully portrayed, the story is compellingly told, and the novel is an excellent read. It is for a general audience, and, in addition, those in the mental health professions could do well to read and learn from "The End of Miracles".

RA, M.D., M.P.H.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A VIVID, SENSUAL & COMPLEX NOVEL THAT 'S COMPARED TO JOHN KEATS' IMMORTAL POETRY

By Dr. E.S. April 27, 2016

Format: Paperback

I have known Dr. Monica Starkman for four decades as a prominent psychiatrist colleague, with special expertise in psychosomatic medicine. Now I deeply admire her as a gifted novelist, whose brilliant use of imagery in her writing reminds me so much of John Keats' immortal poetry.

Dr. Starkman's novel opens with "The dream was always the same----a flood of babies dribbling out of her mouth, dozens, tumbling head over heels...." The description was concrete, startlingly visual, vividly kinetic and palpable, like Keats' poems. The entire novel was imbued with such memorably intense, and at times sensual, portrayals that it leaves a profoundly engaging and stimulating effect on the reader. I simply could not put the book down until I got to the very last page. The End of Miracles is an enormously engaging and rewarding read!

Reviewed by ES, MD

Past President, Michigan Psychoanalytic Society


5.0 out of 5 stars - Starkman's excellent prose and writing style is engaging and informative

By MC on August 31, 2016

Format: Paperback

The End of Miracles was an intriguing journey into the mind of a "normal" woman gone awry. While it is disturbing to watch her descent into temporary insanity, one can't help but turn the pages until late into the night to see what happens. Starkman's excellent prose and writing style is engaging and informative; I loved all of the psychological elements and explanations. This one will stay with me for a long time!


5.0 out of 5 stars - Fascinating story, beautifully written

By BH on August 19, 2016

Format: Paperback

The End of Miracles is a fascinating story, made so much richer by the fact that it was written by a psychiatrist. Starkman shows the reader the full range of Margo’s thoughts and behavior, but also details about the treatment used to bring her back to reality. It’s a beautifully written story that taught me much about the phenomenon of false pregnancy and the depth of despair that might bring it on. I highly recommend it.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Well Written and Remarkably Moving

By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2016

Format: Paperback

I found myself thinking about The End of Miracles and it's protagonist, Margo, long after I finished reading. This novel is a reminder that we never really know what other people are going through, despite appearances. We all experience obstacles and pain, and have the potential to become unwound. As someone with no children just yet, but hopefully someday, I was unexpectedly grappling with a new perspective on the emotional dichotomy of pregnancy and motherhood -- an unsettling balance of wonder and fear. More than heartbreaking at times, this story reinforces the notion that relationships are the most important things we build in our lives and ultimately left me with a sense of hope for Margo's future.


5.0 out of 5 stars - It is beautifully written thoughtful

By 131 on July 15, 2016

Format: Paperback

THE END OF MIRACLES by Moncia Starkman is a superb book. It is beautifully written thoughtful, and rich in insight into a woman's feeling about pregnancy, about a pregnancy ending, about he great need to have a baby. I found it a page turner, so involved did I become with the main character. I highly recommend this splendid story, rich, complex, and in the end hopeful.

Rev. Dr. KP

Great insight into emotional and psychological aspects of infertility


By FC on May 31, 2016

Format: Paperback

We read stories to explore new worlds and this story gives great insight for someone unfamiliar with the infertility world. From the opening of the book, I felt as if I were in the hands of someone writing with authority about the psychological aspects of infertility, the emotional devastation of miscarriage and stillbirth, and how numbing grief can be.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Medical thriller

By HH August 4, 2016

Format: Paperback

As a mother, I am swept off my feet with the hopes and despairs of our protagonist. The medical aspects were explained well and the psychiatric aspects came alive with Dr. Starkman's nuanced insight and revelations. The novel reads like a page turner but I also learned a lot about health and medicine in this most worthwhile book!


5.0 out of 5 stars - The End of Miracles draws you in and takes over

By Amazon Customer on July 23, 2016

Format: Paperback

As I began reading "The End of Miracles" I was drawn in and it didn't take long to be taken over. The unfolding events and deepening attachment to the characters made it difficult to lay the book down. I lost the struggle with myself and had to read the end early so going back to the story was bearable. My compassion and concern for Margo and her welfare made me so anxious.


5.0 out of 5 stars - This book is a powerful testimony to the insatiable need ...

By LA on January 18, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition

This book is a powerful testimony to the insatiable need some women feel when craving a baby. I was pulled in right away.


4.0 out of 5 stars"The End of Miracles" provided an important insight into a ...

By EF on January 23, 2018

Format: Paperback

"The End of Miracles" provided an important insight into a difficult world of infertility, loss and mental illness through the lens of a relatable couple facing challenges that are probably more common than many of us are aware.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A Powerful and gripping story

By SB Chairman The New York State Commission on Health Care Facilities… Amazon Customer on August 1, 2016

Format: Paperback

This is an extraordinarily moving book that draws the reader into the complex and tragic world of its main characters as well as giving vivid life to all the secondary characters. A gripping novel by an author who is both an artist and a psychiatrist.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Outstanding!

ByJ27 on January 25, 2017

Format: Paperback

Beautifully written, superbly crafted and expertly researched researched this book is a page turner. At times it is disturbingly gripping, more so, I imagine, for a woman. As a man, by the end, I felt I had been through something akin to labor! This having been said this novel has all the markings of an award winning best seller.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Complex issue well thought out

By CMR May 21, 2016

Format: Paperback

Well thought out and story based on timeless problem for women and the ability to have children - the heartbreak and the desperation. A fascinating psychological story filled with insight of the woman's dilemma and need.

5.0 out of 5 stars - The story of a woman who longs to have a baby

By D on May 9, 2017

Format: Paperback

A fast-paced psychiatric thriller with twists and turns. The book is particularly enjoyable for anyone with a background psychiatry. Would highly recommend!


5.0 out of 5 stars - Couldn't put it down

By SH on September 5, 2018

Format: Paperback

Loved this novel from start to finish. Couldn't put it down. Have bought it for a few friends. Such a thrilling, thoughtful and well-crafted story. Thoroughly recommend.

A fascinating view of a woman's life.

By B. May 24, 2016

Format: Paperback

A very interesting read. Raises some provocative issues.


5.0 out of 5 stars - A worthy read

By J. on January 25, 2017

Format: Paperback

This book, beautifully written, is a real page turner. You easily get inside the protagonist's head and stay with her. The book's characters are real people and you care about what happens to them.


5.0 out of 5 stars - Absolutely couldn't put it down. As a woman in ...

By Amazon Customer on June 1, 2017

Format: Paperback

Absolutely couldn't put it down. As a woman in my mid-30's, a lot of this book really hit home. It is dark, but uplifting in many ways. Insightful, educated and addictive!


5.0 out of 5 stars - Fascinating Insights

By A. on July 24, 2016

Format: Paperback

Fascinating fictional story full of compassionate insight about severe depression. Truly enjoyable read. Highly recommended


4.0 out of 5 stars - Definitely a worthwhile reading experience

By MB December 6, 2016

Format: Paperback

The End of Miracles is about a subject I know little about. I found it a fascinating read and am proud to say it is now part of my treasured book collection.

links