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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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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.

38 of 44 people found this review helpful

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Hope they make a movie!!

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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WORDS cannot describe!

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Excellent read

Would you listen to Calling Me Home again? Why?

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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3.5 stars

Liked the story, but got tired of some of the long-winded descriptives. Kept my interest and kept me guessing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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So sad, but unfortunately true in our history!

I did enjoy this book. It is so sad the things that happened to these characters, but so believable true. The events in this story document some of the darks parts of our American history.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 03-07-13

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.<br/><br/>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.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Bring on the Tissues!

It's been a very long time since I cried reading or listening to a book. This one got to me many times. An amazing, lovely story. So relevant even in the 21st century. We've come a long way, but still have so much farther to go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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heart wrenching

slightly formulaic, but extremely enjoyable all the same. would highly recommend to anyone who wants a story about love and friendship.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful