BookBrowse Reviews Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Calling Me Home

by Julie Kibler

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler X
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2013, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2014, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


Calling Me Home is a soaring debut interweaving the story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in 1930s Kentucky with an unlikely modern-day friendship.

BookBrowse readers consider Julie Kibler's Calling Me Home a top choice. 26 out of 27 reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars! Here is what they say about this highly regarded book:

Calling Me Home is an outstanding debut novel! Alternating between the present and 1930/40s, the author draws you into the lives and conversations between an elderly white woman and a young black hairdresser as they drive from Texas to Ohio. Both women have secrets that they have guarded but end up sharing with each other. In reading the novel, issues such as race, love, family, and segregation are dealt with in a sensitive manner (Ariel F). This novel makes a person question why we have our prejudices when underneath we are all just human beings with the need for friendship, love and acceptance (Loren B). It has so many layers. It's sad and touching. Keep a box of tissues handy! (Ilene R).

Many readers were moved by the way Kibler creates such a unique and strong female relationship:

The characters of Dorrie and Isabelle and the close bond they had are great examples of the importance of women's friendships, even though their backgrounds may be so different (Alice S). The car ride, to a funeral across country, brings together two unlikely traveling companions. The story the older woman shares with the younger is one for all to hear (Laura G). Friendship often does come in the most unlikely places. This couple's friendship is truly a special one that deepens as Isabelle's story is revealed (Wendy F). Everyone hopes to have at least one friend like that in his or her life (Sandy P).

Most appreciated her ability to tackle a very painful piece of American history and its continued repercussions:

Julie Kibler has successfully tackled the difficult issue of racial equality in her fascinating debut novel told in the first person by Miss Isabelle and Dorrie on their journey from Texas to Ohio. As a reader who had lived in the South before desegregation, I could empathize with the societal restraints and pressures Miss Isabelle wrestled with throughout her life. The engaging style of the author kept me reading (Helen S). The relationships and memories of Miss Isabelle brought this painful period to life in a very heartfelt way (Jean N). This is a book that deserves to be read, especially with regards to U.S. history of "sundown towns" (Celia A). I found the story to be well written, if occasionally over-told and often repetitious. This is not to say that it is not an important story (Molly K). The conversations and the people they encounter along the way are brilliantly written and brought me to tears before the end. Racism is a terrible thing and the author brings it to our attention so well (Bobbie D).

This book is recommended for many readers:

Definitely pick up this book for your reading group, literature class, or for a great read (Amber B). I can't wait to suggest this book to my book group because there are so many issues to discuss. One can't overlook the strong message from the author that the civil rights struggle is not over (Susan J). A debut novel not to be missed, especially by those who enjoy historical fiction (Shirin M). I loved this book and would highly recommend it to book clubs and anyone looking for an un-put-downable read - fantastic! (Michelle N) I thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend it to any of my contemporaries, as well as those younger or older (Mary Q).

This review was originally published in February 2013, and has been updated for the January 2014 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Sundown Towns

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...
  • Book Jacket: All the Names They Used for God
    All the Names They Used for God
    by Anjali Sachdeva
    Pre-publication press has already compared Anjali Sachdeva to Kelly Link and other genre-blending ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Other People's Houses
    by Abbi Waxman

    A hilarious and poignant novel about four families and the affair that changes everything.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.