"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." (Emily Dickinson)
Beyond Las Vegas' 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 families - the ones we have and the ones we make. It challenges us to think about our responsibilities to one another 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.
©2014 Laura McBride (P)2014 Simon & Schuster, Inc.
I am three hours into this book and I have decided that I need to do a much better job choosing what I listen to here on audible. If I had been better at reading between the lines of the reviews here and on amazon I would have seen this sad story coming and been able to avoid such a dire, unhappy tale of suffering.
This book is set in Las Vegas and reminded me of The Goldfinch--the part where they lived in Las Vegas--the main difference is that this story is more depressing and not as well written. Hard to believe--I know. I can't recommend this book --unless for some reason you need to explore despair, betrayal, loss and heart ache through fiction--and really there are better books out there for that.
Say something about yourself!
The story was going nowhere. It drug on for hours. I kept thinking it would get better with all of the positive reviews. I finally had to stop listening.
Nothing by this author
Some of the narrators were immigrants, but they had no accent. Very surprising. It just made it seem more unreal.
I didn't have a favorite.
It was an interesting read, with interesting characters, especially the boy. But it build to a crescendo then ended; suddenly, leaving me with an unsatisfied feeling.
Literally outstanding.... stands out as one one of the best books I have listened to in a very long time. Especially impressive , since it's a debut novel.
This book moved me to tears and made me think. Four different characters face personal crises and learn to adjust to the new realities of their lives. Then all their stories converge. Highly recommended.
Love reading, writing, and travel. Retired US Army Chaplain.
Excellent writing as McBride interweaves four seemingly separate lives with all their sorrows, challenges, and triumphs. Title is appropriate given the threads of the story.
This was a wonderful listen, contemporary fiction at it's best. The story is told by 4 different narrators, whose lives do not seem to be connected at first.As the book progresses, the events connect the characters. A 53 years old woman goes through a break down of her marriage while trying to find meaning in her life, a soldier alive after a botched suicide attempt, an Albanian refugee's child, and the child's CASA advocate. The story is gripping, raw, honest, believable. I cried as some of the events unfolded. Amazing and powerful book, loved it!
Addicted to books, but especially to audiobooks!
Some of my favorites stories are the ones where a city or landscape becomes part of the narrative and on We Are Called to Rise Laura McBride makes Vegas, surrounded by its dry deserts one of its most interesting characters.
The main characters on this beautifully written novel couldn't be more different:
Bakshim is an 8 year-old son of Albanian refugee immigrants; Avis a middle-aged woman whose marriage is imploding and has a troubled son; Luis, a wounded soldier returning stateside after a difficult combat deployment in Iraq and finally Roberta who as a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), serves more like a supporting character.
The story is told on alternate chapters written from the perspective of one of these characters and McBride is able to interlink their lives in a way that feels very intense and very authentic.
The story begins with Avis, who at 53 has realized that her marriage is in deep trouble and just when she decides to do something about it her husband stops her on her tracks and asks for a divorce.
Avis's son Nate, who is just entering the L.A.P.D. force, is like Luis is a veteran of the Iraq war and is facing his own demons after coming back from his last tour. Avis knows there's something wrong with her son but is unable or unwilling to address his issues, even after witnessing his violent behavior towards his wife.
Not doubt that at its core We Are Called to Rise tells the story of Bakshim, an innocent but perceptive 8 year-old boy and his family as they struggle to assimilate into their new homeland. Bashkim’s father is unstable and due to some horrible experiences he had with officials in his native country he has a profound distaste for authority of any kind. Ironically he's violent towards Arjeta his wife, and keeps her isolated from her relatives.
As the story progresses, through a school project that encourages children to write to soldiers, Bakshim and Luis become pen pals and develop an unusual friendship.
I was impressed with the author's pitch perfect narrative inside the minds of two young mentally and physically broken war veterans. I think that she brings badly needed attention towards PSTD, violence, suicide, and so many other challenges US veterans are facing today.
The lives of these four characters come to a complete collision when the story culminates with a tragic incident that will have consequences for each and every one of them.
I think that the success of this novel has a lot to do with McBride's ability to show so much empathy for such an eclectic and diverse cast of characters.
I was going to use a few lines to end this review pointing out a few issues I had with the plot and in particular with the ending of the story, but decided against it. Instead I am choosing to respect the author's decision to write a tale that through its sadness and gloom still manages to encapsulate a sense of hope and end in an unexpected but optimistic note.
All narrators were amazing, but Cassandra Campbell as usual was outstanding.
This is a wonderful, intense and heartwarming first novel by author Laura McBride. I highly recommend it!
I read reviews before I chose this book and now I am surprised by the bad ones. I enjoyed every minute!
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.