Thursday, May 9, 2013

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler


Calling Me Home: A Novel
by Julie Kibler
Narrated by Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver
Blackstone Audio, 2013
13 hours and 36 minutes
source: purchased

Publisher's Summary:

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a big favor to ask her hairdresser, Dorrie. She wants the black single mother to drop everything and drive her from Texas to a funeral in Ohio - tomorrow. Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious about Isabelle’s past, agrees, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Isabelle confesses that, as a teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family’s housekeeper - in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences just might help Dorrie find her own way.

My thoughts:
There are really just two things I want you to know about this novel:

  1. I loved it! My second 5-star book of the year, it will surely appear on my list of favorites in December.
  2.  Be prepared to shed a tear or two and plan accordingly... especially as you approach the end. After receiving questioning looks upon arriving moist-eyed at the hair salon, I decided to finish listening at home rather than on the way to the dentist's office as planned. A good decision.

A note on the audio production:
Multiple reader productions are usually a hit with me. In Calling Me Home, two stellar narrators team up to deliver an audio performance that is sheer perfection. I enjoyed Bahni Turpin in both The Help and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, but Lorna Raver, a popular reader whose name I instantly recognized, was a new narrator for me. I have since added several of her other credits to my audio wish list.

Read or listen?
If you're an audiobook fan, and especially if you enjoy dual narrators, by all means listen. However, my mother prefers reading, so I borrowed a library copy and insisted she read it. She devoured the book (as did my sister) and assures me it's just as wonderful in print.

Bottom line:
Calling Me Home  is a must read!

25 comments:

  1. This one sounds really good. I love reading books with older protagonists these day. Not sure why.

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    1. Ti - I'm the same way... maybe it's a phase ;-)

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  2. I actually read this one in print (shocker) and absolutely LOVED it. And so did my mom...she devoured it as well. Did you see where I won a necklace with a thimble on it from the author? I was so excited.

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    1. Sandy - Yes, I remember that you won the thimble necklace and appreciate it even more now that I know the story. What an amazing story... if you ever get the urge to reread, you MUST listen. This was a phenomenal audiobook!

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  3. This sounds really good and as I've been getting into audiobooks more recently (I drive a lot for work), I'm always looking for good recommendations. Good narration is definitely a plus!

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    Replies
    1. Brie - This is really an amazing audiobook... narration doesn't get much better!

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  4. Hope to take this one on our NYC weekend. Glad u loved it.

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    1. Diane - Hope you enjoy it as much as I did... have a feeling you will :-)

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  5. I liked this one too. I bet the audio was great.

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    1. Bath F - This is the best audiobook I've listened to in quite some time!

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  6. You've convinced me! :-) My library has it on order so I'll be an eye out for it. Sounds lovely.

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    1. Cat - It's excellent, in both print and audio. Hope you get the chance to read or listen soon.

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  7. Yes! I **must** read this one! Glad to hear you loved it also, as other readers have!

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    1. Jill - Hope you get a chance to read it!

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  8. There's something about the title that seems to call one to find out more about this story.

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    1. Joan Hunter Dunn - I felt that same way!

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  9. Thanks for this awesome review!! I am making my way to Audible.com to spend a credit!!!

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  10. This is on my wishlist already. Thanks for the tear warning!

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    1. Stacybuckeye - Hope you listen to this one soon.. it's amazing!

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  11. Multiple reader productions are usually a hit with me. In Calling Me Home, two stellar narrators team up to deliver an audio performance that is sheer perfection.

    I'm convinced! I'm with you and Ti. I'm enjoying novels with older protagonists. Wonder what that says about us? ;)

    Just put this on reserve (audio) at my library. It sounds fantastic. Not sure why, but The Homecoming of Samuel Lake came to mind as I read your review. Must be the southern setting.

    Thanks so much for the great review, JoAnn. I've never even heard of this book. Go figure!

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    1. Les - Not sure what this recent fascination with older protagonists is all about... I suppose books like this have always been around, but I'm just starting to pay closer attention ;-)

      I can see how this would remind you of Samuel Lake (I loved that one, too), but it was also reminiscent of The Help. Can't wait to hear what you think!

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    2. I suppose as I creep closer to "middle age," I'm more interested in novels focusing on that demographic rather than those of "chicklit."

      I read, and later listened to, The Help. So glad to know this is reminiscent of that amazing novel AND Samuel Lake. Can't.Wait!

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  12. Adding the audio version to my wish list - although I might save that last disc or two for home so I'm not crying too hard while driving!

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    1. Lisa - Listening to the last disc at home is highly recommended! You'll thank me later ;-)

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