Three lives are bound together by a split-second mistake, and a child's fate hangs in the balance.
What happens next will testand restoreyour faith in humanity.
"We never know how high we are / Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan, / Our statures touch the skies"
Beyond Las Vegas's casinos lies a boomtown where four lives can be brought together by one split-second choice.
In the predawn hours, a woman's marriage crumbles with a single confession. Across town, an immigrant family struggles to fit in and get by in the land of opportunity. Three thousand miles away, a soldier wakes up in Walter Reed hospital with the vague feeling that he's done something awful. In a single moment, these disparate lives intersect. Faced with seemingly insurmountable loss, each person must decide whether to give in to despair, or to find the courage and resilience to rise.
We Are Called to Rise is a story about a child's fate. It is a story about familiesthe ones we have and the ones we make. It challenges us to think about our responsibilities to each other and reminds us that compassion and charity can rescue us, even in our darkest moment. It is a book that will break your heart and then put it back together.
THERE WAS A YEAR of no desire. I don't know why. Margo said I was depressed; Jill thought it was "the change." That phrase made me laugh. I didn't think I was depressed. I still grinned when I saw the roadrunner waiting to join me on my morning walk. I still stopped to look at the sky when fat clouds piled up against the blue, or in the evenings when it streaked orange and purple in the west. Those moments did not feel like depression.
But I didn't desire my husband, and there was no certain reason for it, and as the months went by, the distance between us grew. I tried to talk myself out of this, but my body would not comply. Finally, I decided to rely on what in my case would be mother wisdom, or as Sharlene would say, "to fake it till you make it."
That night, I eased myself out of bed carefully, not wanting to fully wake Jim. I had grown up in Las Vegas, grown up seeing women prance around in sparkling underwear, learned how to do the same prancing in the same ...
One of McBride's chief skills is creating distinct voices. The narrative reveals each character's age, class, and experiences. Unfortunately, I found the ways in which the characters connect and recover to be somewhat predictable, and at times tedious in the telling. For the most part, though, I was able to put my cynicism aside and appreciate the way the author finds meaning in misfortune.
(Reviewed by Rebecca Foster).
Full Review (784 words).
The story of Las Vegas's meteoric rise from desert backwater to world-class city provides the backdrop to Laura McBride's debut novel, We Are Called to Rise, in which four city residents' lives intersect in unpredictable ways. The characters have a wide range of opinions about their hometown. While Roberta and Bashkim love the bleak beauty of the Nevada desert and its wildlife, Avis and her friends often decry the disadvantages of living "in a town nicknamed Sin City, in a place most American families wouldn't dream of bringing their children, in a state where prostitution is legal and gambling is sacrosanct."
The city of Las Vegas has only existed for a little over a century, since 1905, when 110 acres next to the Union Pacific ...
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