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.
©2013 Julie Kibler (P)2013 Blackstone Audio, Inc
I really wanted to like this book for two reasons: 1. Bahni Turpin, 2. The reader reviews were so overwhelmingly positive that it seemed I couldn't possibly go wrong picking this book as my next listen. Wrong I went.
This is a book which reinforces stereotypes, simplifies complexities, and doesn't attempt to ask or raise a single question. The characters and plot are so absurd that it can't even count as entertaining. This book was not worth of such amazing narrations from these two fine women.
The story is simplistic, the characters are flat. The narration of Isabelle is done in the past tense, while Dorrie's is in the present. Near the end, their stories clumsily converge.
Isabelle is viewed by everyone in her life as perfect. Dorrie listens to her sad and depressing story for days on the way to a funeral, never once criticizing Miss Isabelle for a single thing. In fact, she holds her on a pedestal as the utmost example of a human being. This contrasts with the actual portrayal of Isabelle, which proves her to be an irritating, selfish, and implausibly naive girl and then woman.
Dorrie's story, on the other hand, seems random and at odds with the major plot (Isabelle's story). It is also disturbingly reflective of negative stereotypes. Mostly, it seemed that Dorrie was only put into the story in order to praise Miss Isabelle and try to convince the reader of her goodness, and to revise her own life after having Miss Isabelle's bright white light shown upon her. Ick.
Quite likely. The choice in Lorna Raver and Banhi Turpin as narrators was a good one... voices nearly pitch-perfect, though Lorna Raver's voice could get a little over-dramatic, and Bahni Turpin uncharacteristically read a couple passages with less inflection that called for. These instances were rare, and it was an enjoyable read
When Dorie found out who broke into her office and why... the anger came right through.
And the heartbreak of Isabel losing Robert
Both Dorie and Isabel. They obviously took center stage, and some of the other characters weren't as flushed out... but they were great!
Both, in parts... the scene with the hotel night manager made me laugh out loud
Great book, depicting the complex race relations that are still ongoing today. Tackling it both from a white and African-American perspective - peeling back the layers of prejudice on both sides - was well done.
Yes, it was a suspenseful tale of heartache and loss.
The comparisons of Dorrie's and Isable's lives even when they were so different.
Unoriginal story, stereotyped characters, and really irritating narration by Lorna Raver
There was NOTHING original in this story. The author took elements of "The Help" and mixed in "Driving Miss Daisy". I am dumbfounded by all the glowing reviews
I found her voice too slow and, when Izzy was narrating as her younger self, her voice should have changed to reflect this.
Poignant, well-written, engaging
*Spoiler alert* When Miss Isabelle arrives at the funeral home & for whom she is there to see.
Everything!!! They are great performers!
The story was so well-written, the characters so full & vibrant, that I could see them, feel their pain, their joys, and their sorrow - all characteristics of a GOOD book!
This book was a pleasant surprise. I had no recommendations for it & just listened on a guess that it would suit me - I'm so glad I did!
I purchased this book because I so enjoyed Bahni Turpin's narration in The Help. I am so glad that I did! I absolutely loved the book. It's an incredible story of one woman's past and another's present. The story and the narration are wonderful. I only wish Ms. Kibler had other works on Audible. I'd buy them in a heartbeat.
Did not read the print version.
I think they were all good, especially the two main characters.
Would not change
I think the times have not changed much. Yes, by-racial marriages are here to stay but still frown by family members.
The entire storyline was so great to listen to
They bring life to the story that is missed in just reading the book. Voices gives it life.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters had depth and breadth and personalities that are complex and interesting. The readers did a really good job with all of the characters so that I could follow without difficulty. The transitions were seamless and their voices were distinctive and "real" enough that you forgot they were "characters." The story is very sad, but told with rich humor and much "humanity." These are real people.
I loved this book. Long after I finished it I thought about this book often. The story is just excellent. This book makes you laugh and cry.
Everything, but especially the friendship that developed between Isabelle and Dorrie.
I loved them both, but I found myself wanting to hear the parts with Isabelle's story the most.
Isabelle was the most memorable. Her story is one that everyone can relate to one way or another.
My sister and I both listened to this book and we both were so affected by it. It was truly a great book. I'll listen again.
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