Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)
Journey of the Heart
I am glad that I read this book. For me, it was slow getting started, but I soon became hooked by the story of these two unlikely friends.
The relationships and memories of Miss Isabelle brought this painful period to life in a very heartfelt way.
I would definitely recommend Calling Me Home to book discussion groups.
Sarah N. (Corte Madera, CA)
Julie Kibler called me home!
Everytime I had to care for my family and set the book down, I was sad. I kept returning to the book as quickly as I could. I really liked the character development as well as the characters themselves. I was intrigued by the mystery and feeling for their dilemmas.
Mary Q. (Greeley, CO)
Calling Me Home
This is a book with two distinct story lines. Its chapters flip back and forth between present time and 70 years ago, but there is no confusion or difficulty in following the time line. The entire book is engaging and very well written, and I was right there with the events occurring the whole book through. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to any of my contemporaries, as well as those younger or older. I can't wait for Julie Kibler's NEXT book!
Sandra S. (Charlotte, NC)
A moving story
A cross country car ride brings two unlikely friends closer than they thought possible. The story Miss Isabelle shares is a bittersweet tale that will move anyone who picks up the book. It's a great read and I recommend it.
Vivian T. (Charleston, WV)
A stirring read
Very rarely does a book touch me so much that I wind up in tears at the end, but Calling Me Home was just such a book. Isabelle and Robert's story, although in the past, was presented as if actually happening. The young Isabelle was easy to love and it became easier to understand how she become the somewhat aloof elderly Isabelle of the present. Dorrie was presented as a strong character that was constantly questioning her actions and the consequences of said actions. Neither Isabelle nor Dorrie were raised with loving mothers, but the two clicked and became "family" to one another. Definitely what is expected between a young African-American woman and an elderly White woman. Their life experiences were very different but their personalities were similar in many ways. I enjoyed the way Ms. Kibler wove the past and the present together. The ending was a major surprise and resulted in a major use of tissues. I think that Wiley Cash summed this up rather nicely when stating that "If Calling Me Home were a young woman, her grandmother would be To Kill A Mockingbird, her sister would be The Help, and her cousin would be The Notebook." On the surface this is about love, society, race, and family...not just the family we are born into but those that become family to us by choice.
Shirin M. (Beverly Hills, CA)
A road trip meanders through memories of the 1930s and 1940s interspersed with contemporary day-to-day issues. Told in two voices, the reader listens as the unlikely friendship between Miss Isabelle, a nonagenarian, and thirty-something Dorrie, reveals their life stories. Amidst the heartbreak and loss there is love and hope in a story that comes full cycle. The conversational tone and travel details make it a fast read. A debut novel not to be missed, especially by those who enjoy historical fiction.
Susan J. (Twain Harte, CA)
One of my favorite books of the year
I really loved this book and I didn't want to put it down. I fell in love with the characters who were so well-drawn that I felt I knew them. I laughed and cried and felt such sadness and regret for Isabelle. I can't wait to suggest this book to my book group because there are so many issues in the book to discuss. One can't overlook the strong message from the author that the civil rights struggle is not over.