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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.
Lee M. (Creve Coeur, MO)
Oh, my what a ride!!
Dorrie, a hairdresser in Arlington, Texas, is asked by 'Miss Isabelle," a very good customer, to drive her to Cincinnati, OH. She does not explain why, only that it is important and she will not fly, so it would be a long two-day trip, 986 miles. Dorrie must close her beauty shop and have someone stay with her family, but she respects, admires and considers Miss Isabelle a good friend, so she agrees. Driving Miss Isabelle turns out to be more than Dorrie signed up for, but it turns out to be a sweet extraordinary ride for the reader. Why this trip is so important to Miss Isabelle is only one of the sweet confidences revealed on this magical trip.
Linda P. (Medford, WI)
A Great Debut
Julie Kibler's story starts slowly. Two distinct personalities, races, & ages that seem so disimiliar that one wonders how this is going to come together, but come together it does, beautifully! I so enjoyed this novel & look forward to reading Ms. Kibler's works in the future. Four stars for Miss Isabelle & Dorrie!
Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)
Calling Me Home
This was a very enjoyable book to read by first time author,Julie Kibler. It's not a page turner but it keeps your interest so that you do want to keep reading. The story is mainly about 2 women- very opposite at first glance. Dorrie is a young black woman and Isabelle is an elderly white woman. They embark on a journey which turns out to be not only from A to B but a journey of their lives. They confide in each other along the way and tell each of their past. It's a hard book to talk about without revealing the plot. It is a very believable character study of two women of different backgrounds who find they are very much alike besides being good friends. You'll enjoy the book and want to read more by Julie Kibler.
Rayna T. (Auburn, CA)
Calling Me Home
Once I got into this book I really liked it. The 2 main characters interrelated so well even though their ages were far apart and being black and white. They were lovely to each other.
I never did guess the ending till I was all done with the book.
I will write some more in a little while.