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.
Listen on dog walks, commutes and around the house. Welcome virtually any genre but southern fiction holds a special place in my heart.
Julie Kibler's debut novel tackles many themes common to Southern fiction: race relations; interracial marriage; family secrets; and unexpected friendship. The story is split between a present-day road trip from Arlington, Texas, to Cincinnati for 30-something Dorrie and almost-90 Isabelle, and a flashback to Isabelle's coming of age in the 1930s. Of particular interest is an explanation of the "sundown" law in Isabelle's small Kentucky town which prohibited blacks in town after dark. Interestingly, these laws were in no way limited to just the South but were found as far west as California in the 1930s. I like the way this book compared and contrasted race relations between Isabelle's "then" and Dorrie and Isabelle's "now," but - at the same time - there was something lacking for me and I never felt fully engaged. Despite this sentiment, I believe Julie Kibler is a fine writer and I look forward to reading her future books.
At the top. This is an awesome book.
I think this is the best audible book and performance of the 100+ books in our audible library.
Yes, my daughter recommended it to me.
Both of the main ladies
the love they both were seeking
A Different time and Place
This story did not disappoint me. It was great.....I thought it started a bit slow....but it wasn't long before I didn't want to stop listening....! The character voices though at times became confusing as to who you were listening to which is why I gave it 4 stars ....but it didn't take much to figure out who was who....this story needs to be a movie ! Highly recommended listening/reading!
This book is going to be added to one of my all time favorite books. I loved everything about this book. It was very moving and had me in tears at the end of the book. I would highly recommend this book
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
Calling me Home is the touching story of an elderly white woman as she journeys into her past, growing up in 1930s Kentucky and falling in love with a young black man. As she recalls these memories some 70 years later, the reader is reminded of the continuing struggles for civil rights, not only in the early 20th century, but today as well.
The story is told through the perspectives of two women--Miss Isabelle, the aging white woman, and Dorrie, the middle-aged black woman who aids Miss Isabelle on her journey. In the audio version two different narrators are used to voice these women.
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