Monday, February 2, 2015

Calling Me Home; Julie Kilber

Calling Me Home; Julie Kilber
Blackstone Audio - 2013

Isabelle McCallister grew up as a privileged white girl in Kentucky in the 1930s. Now at 90 years of age she makes an unusual request of her longtime hairdresser Dorrie.  Dorrie is a black woman who has had some setbacks in life, and has had a poor track record with men.  Isabelle's request -- to drive her from Texas to Ohio for a funeral.  Dorrie gives the idea some thought and agrees, feeling that time away from her family, the new man in her life and her business might be just what she needs while she assesses her life.

Along the way driving to Ohio, Isabelle begins to share the story of herself as a young girl and young love. Isabelle fell in love with a young black man named Robert Pruitt, the son of her family's maid, and the tragic consequences which resulted. Dorrie also opens up to her friend Isabelle, sharing her personal struggles as well.

The story is told in alternating POV of both women. Isabelle's story is told mostly in the past, while Dorrie's story  is told mostly in the present. Both stories were touching and seemed believable.  The hatred exhibited by some white people against blacks in that time period (30s) is hard tp read about at times and it is difficult not to feel for the individuals.  I do wish that Dorrie's story was a bit more developed.

I thought the author did a fantastic job transporting the reader back to Isabelle's early life, and I was surprised to read that the story in part, is based on the personal family history of the author's family.  The ending was a huge surprise and added a lot to the overall experience.  I listened to the audio version (read by Bahri Turpin and Lorna Raver), and most say that the two voices took some getting used to, so I alternated with the print version at times.  A very good story that many readers will enjoy, and a great book club choice as well.

4/5
(Audio book and print)

22 comments:

  1. I remember seeing this one awhile back and thinking it sounded like a good story....and then promptly forgot all about it! Thanks for the reminder.....I'm going to go add it to my list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim, I do that all the time -- read a review, mean to read it and then forget about it until I read another review LOL

      Delete
  2. I've picked this one for my book club for this year. Sounds like there will be lots to talk about.

    ReplyDelete
  3. She sounds like an interesting lady.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, I love the sound of this one! Thanks for sharing....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Laurel, I know most who have tried this one have enjoyed it.

      Delete
  5. I liked this book but didn't love it the way most people have.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't say I LOVED it Kathy, but it was enjoyable overall.

      Delete
  6. Diane, this sounds like absorbing fiction rooted in reality. Very nice review!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've heard of this and had it on my wishlist for awhile but just haven't picked it up. Your review gives me a clearer picture of what it is really about, and now I am more intrigued--thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  8. This sounds like one I might need to add to my Kentucky or Ohio Reading the States posts!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've had this on my tbr much too long, thanks for the honest review and the reminder!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lindsay, I have stacks of books that I ,meant to read years ago --as well.

      Delete
  10. I've been curious about this one since I first heard about it. Your review has me even more curious, Diane. It's always interesting to me when an author pulls from her own past and incorporates it into the novel.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do like when I read stories based on personal family situations, they just seem to be written with more passion IMO

      Delete
  11. I loved this one... one of my favorite audios of 2013!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This sounds really good! I am going to look for this one.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)