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Calling Me Home: A Novel Paperback – January 7, 2014
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Comparisons to The Help (2009) are inevitable, and though there are echoes of Kathryn Stockett’s popular best-seller to be found in Calling Me Home, Kibler has crafted a wholly original debut. The novel, set in 1930s Kentucky, centers on a forbidden romance between a teenage white girl, Isabelle McAllister, and Robert Prewitt, the black son of the McAllister’s maid. Chafing under her mother’s restrictive notions of female propriety, Isabelle finds a kindred spirit in Robert. The two begin to meet clandestinely, but any hope of a future together is threatened by the overwhelming racism of the era. Against impossible odds, the pair elopes to neighboring Cincinnati, but their happiness is short-lived when Isabelle’s thuggish brothers drag her back to the family home. The sad story is presented in flashback, as told by a now-elderly Isabelle to her black hairdresser, Dorrie, while the two drive cross-country to a funeral. Some may object that the civil rights struggle is once again being filtered through a white perspective, but there’s no denying the pull of Kibler’s story. --Patty Wetli --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
"You'd never guess that "Calling Me Home" is a debut novel, Julie Kibler's writing is so wise and assured. Although the two strong women she's created come from completely different backgrounds, the bond that grows between them is extraordinary, touching and believable. I laughed out loud in places and had tears in my eyes as I turned the last page. I can't wait to watch Julie Kibler's star rise!" -"New York Times" bestselling author Diane Chamberlain
"Clear your schedule before you open up this thoroughly engaging book. CALLING ME HOME is a story about love in its many incarnations--in romance, friendships, and families; loves lost, and love regained. Kibler illuminates racial tensions many of us don't realize still exist in this country, and shows how small acts of faith can make big inroads to acceptance. I closed the final page with a smile and a tear, humbled and eager to embrace life." - Margaret Dilloway, author of "How to Be an American Housewife"
"Pop some corn and grab a hankie before you start CALLING ME HOME because you won't want to put it down until you come to the end of this true journey of the heart." - Carleen Brice, author of "Orange Mint and Honey"
""Calling Me Home" is a tenderly wrought story of love and secrets, heartbreak and healing, and the remarkable power of friendship to heal two women who find each other across the lines of time, generation, and race. Julie Kibler has written an original and moving debut novel that will linger with you for a long, long time." --Barbara O'Neal, "The Garden of Happy Endings"
"Julie Kibler grabbed me on the very first page and didn't let go...What a marvel of a debut novel. Black and white, young and old, searching and missing and finding in each other a special understanding, companionship, and love, these characters are real and addictive. "Calling Me Home" was keenly conceived, impeccably plotted, and beautifully written." -Barbara Delinsky, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Escape and
Top customer reviews
The story bounces back and forth between time and locales, from the present-day to 1930s Kentucky. In bits and pieces, Isabelle relays her story to Dorrie. Despite their differences, there are parallels between their lives, and the author takes her time unraveling the story without it ever feeling like she’s just killing time.
The relationship between the protagonists felt real and true. In fact, the entire story held the same realistic air throughout. I figured out early on whose funeral they were attending, but it didn’t detract much from my enjoyment of the story.
The “buddy-movie” road trip was nice to read, as I don’t think I’ve ever read one that featured two female characters as the leads, and I would recommend it if that sort of thing interests you.
This was an emotionally difficult book for me to read. It has always amazed me "man's inhumanity to someone different." This book does a wonderful job of telling the story of that time in our history and the pain of prejudice.
MY COUSIN HAD A MIXED MARRIAGE IN TEXAS IN THE 60'S, AND HER MOTHER BROKE UP THE COUPLE - MUCH LIKE THE MOTHER IN THIS NOVEL DOES.