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.
A little slow moving at first but I spent many nights up far too long just to get a little more. Funny, sad and touching all rolled into one! Both main characters brought something unique to the story. This is one I will listen to again.
I hardly ever listen to a book more than once, so no, I would not listen to this one again. It was however, well written and the main characters were complex and well developed. The mystery was interesting since here were several facets to it. I enjoyed it.
Such a beautiful story of survival and the love that never dies! Proof that friends comes in all shapes and sizes, and pulls us through the hardest times of our lives.
I have a lump in my throat from this book on tape. The story makes you want to keep listening all day and night, LITERALLY!!!
The readers of this book made me feel like they were sitting on my sofa talking to me. I thought Miya Angelou's biography and Witney Houston's mother reading her book were my two most favorite books on tape. Calling me home is right up there, perhaps in the lead now. I suggest this book for a road trip because you won't want to turn it off.
It's rated 4.4 currently, so it's clear this book appeals to many people. I don't understand why. Maybe some young adults would be more sympathetic, but I think more likely, they would just roll their eyes.
First of all, the story was out of the 40's and 50's. Had it been written then, maybe it would have been novel. By now, it's old hat. I don't think it spoils anything to say that the story of a young, introverted, white girl falling for a perfect black boy has been done before and better.Secondly, it dragged on interminably, flashbacks by the white woman, present time by the black woman, who somehow was enchanted with the old lady's life. I listened for 2.5 hours before asking myself why I was wasting my time. I read a few spoilers on GR to see if the plot developed as I anticipated, and I was right. I wasn't going to get anything more out of this book, so I quit.
I might be willing to give them another try, but Lorna Raver's portrayal of Isabelle drove me nuts. Bahni Turpin was ok.
As a morality tale, it's ok, but do we need another superficial rendition of this theme?
I don't understand the high ratings that this has received. I know lots of people foreswear writing negative reviews--look at the most liked review by Alexandria Milton. It is fair but negative.
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.
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.
This is a well written book. The performance by the readers was excellent. This was a challenge because each reader had to read some dialog by the other character and come close to matching the voice so it is not jarring when the next chapter starts read by the other character. The ending was excellent.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.