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Calling Me Home: A Novel | [Julie Kibler]

Calling Me Home: A Novel

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (208 )
5 star
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4.4 (187 )
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4.5 (185 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Alexandria Milton New York 12-13-13
    Alexandria Milton New York 12-13-13 Member Since 2012

    Alexandria

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    "I really wanted to like it"

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 03-07-13
    Daryl Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 03-07-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
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    "Beuatiful, heartbreaking story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Calling Me Home to be better than the print version?

    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


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Calling Me Home?

    When Dorie found out who broke into her office and why... the anger came right through.

    And the heartbreak of Isabel losing Robert


    Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver – was your favorite?

    Both Dorie and Isabel. They obviously took center stage, and some of the other characters weren't as flushed out... but they were great!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both, in parts... the scene with the hotel night manager made me laugh out loud


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna Topeka, KS, United States 02-27-13
    Donna Topeka, KS, United States 02-27-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    9
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    "Great listen."
    Would you listen to Calling Me Home again? Why?

    Yes, it was a suspenseful tale of heartache and loss.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Calling Me Home?

    The comparisons of Dorrie's and Isable's lives even when they were so different.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RueRue Orange County, CA 02-02-14
    RueRue Orange County, CA 02-02-14 Member Since 2013

    RueRue

    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
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    87
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    "Dissenting opinion"
    What disappointed you about Calling Me Home?

    Unoriginal story, stereotyped characters, and really irritating narration by Lorna Raver


    What was most disappointing about Julie Kibler’s story?

    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


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I found her voice too slow and, when Izzy was narrating as her younger self, her voice should have changed to reflect this.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Hontz Churubusco,IN USA 05-27-14
    L. Hontz Churubusco,IN USA 05-27-14 Member Since 2012

    yarnlover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    6
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    Story
    "Recommending to my book club! I will read again!"
    If you could sum up Calling Me Home in three words, what would they be?

    Poignant, well-written, engaging


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Calling Me Home?

    *Spoiler alert* When Miss Isabelle arrives at the funeral home & for whom she is there to see.


    What about Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver ’s performance did you like?

    Everything!!! They are great performers!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria United States 05-18-14
    Victoria United States 05-18-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Book!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    graite123 California 05-05-14
    graite123 California 05-05-14 Member Since 2008

    graite123

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "ENJOYED THE PACE"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Calling Me Home to be better than the print version?

    Did not read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I think they were all good, especially the two main characters.


    Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver – was your favorite?

    Bahni Turpin


    If you could rename Calling Me Home, what would you call it?

    Would not change


    Any additional comments?

    I think the times have not changed much. Yes, by-racial marriages are here to stay but still frown by family members.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nan New Iberia, LA, United States 01-27-14
    nan New Iberia, LA, United States 01-27-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    1
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    Story
    "Lovely story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Calling Me Home to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    What did you like best about this story?

    The entire storyline was so great to listen to


    What does Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They bring life to the story that is missed in just reading the book. Voices gives it life.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Izzy's journey


    Any additional comments?

    No

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Ballwin, MO, United States 01-19-14
    Anne Ballwin, MO, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    128
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    123
    88
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    "Sad, funny, thoughthful read"

    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.

    Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bec TX 12-28-13
    Bec TX 12-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    9
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    "A Must Read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything, but especially the friendship that developed between Isabelle and Dorrie.


    Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver – was your favorite?

    I loved them both, but I found myself wanting to hear the parts with Isabelle's story the most.


    Who was the most memorable character of Calling Me Home and why?

    Isabelle was the most memorable. Her story is one that everyone can relate to one way or another.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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