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Publisher's Summary

An emotionally raw and resonant story of love, loss, and the enduring power of friendship, following the lives of two young women connected by a home for “fallen girls”, and inspired by historical events.

“Home for Erring and Outcast Girls deftly reimagines the wounded women who came seeking a second chance and a sustaining hope.” (Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours

In turn-of-the-20th century Texas, the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls is an unprecedented beacon of hope for young women consigned to the dangerous poverty of the streets by birth, circumstance, or personal tragedy. Built in 1903 on the dusty outskirts of Arlington, a remote dot between Dallas and Fort Worth’s red-light districts, the progressive home bucks public opinion by offering faith, training, and rehabilitation to prostitutes, addicts, unwed mothers, and “ruined” girls without forcibly separating mothers from children. When Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride meet there - one sick and abused, but desperately clinging to her young daughter, the other jilted by the beau who fathered her ailing son - they form a friendship that will see them through unbearable loss, heartbreak, difficult choices, and ultimately, diverging paths.

A century later, Cate Sutton, a reclusive university librarian, uncovers the hidden histories of the two troubled women as she stumbles upon the cemetery on the home’s former grounds and begins to comb through its archives in her library. Pulled by an indescribable connection, what Cate discovers about their stories leads her to confront her own heartbreaking past, and to reclaim the life she thought she'd let go forever. With great pathos and powerful emotional resonance, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls explores the dark roads that lead us to ruin, and the paths we take to return to ourselves.

©2019 Julie Kibler (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“A world in which young, single mothers had few options - and even fewer advocates - comes to life in Julie Kibler’s skilled hands. Based on the history of the Berachah Industrial Home in Arlington, Texas, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls deftly reimagines the wounded women who came seeking a second chance and a sustaining hope. Their lives are raw and heartbreaking, their struggles an answer to a timeless question: Can friendship heal us after the world has broken us?” (Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours)

Home for Erring and Outcast Girls is a moving tale of friendship and resilience. It is the story of three different women, each of them betrayed and abandoned, and the ways in which they find their way home. Emotional. Raw. Compelling. Julie Kibler writes with skill, compassion, and grace.” (Ariel Lawhon, author of I Was Anastasia)

"Julie Kibler explores with splendid insight what it’s like to feel exiled from the very people you thought would stand by you and for you no matter what, and that sometimes home is not the place where you were raised but rather the place where you found the strength to rise up out of despair. Memorable and surprising and hopeful." (Susan Meissner, best-selling author of The Last Year of the War)

What listeners say about Home for Erring and Outcast Girls

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Lots of adjectives

The history is interesting, but I didn't think this was well-written or well-performed. Much too wordy (it even includes a flowery description of the sunrise after a rape). It just drags on and on. And on. And on. I only finished it because I'm out of credits at the moment.

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Predictable

Although I love the historical research that went into this novel snd admire the work of the Baracha home, it seemed that the story did bring out every cliche about the hypocrisy of the church. I’m sorry if the author experienced many of these things, but as a follower of Jesus, I felt that it portrayed his people in an unfairly negative light. As for the narrator it did seem that she had two voices, one male snd one female. I don’t like to be negative but this was not my favorite listen.

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A wonderful book with many layers!

I've lived in Arlington, Texas for 34 years and had never heard of the Berachah Home until I read this book. It's well written and has so many layers that are uncovered as you read. I've recently read several other historical fiction books and this one did not disappoint! I'm anxious to take a walk now into the park near UTA that surrounds the old Berachah cemetery to find the little cemetery that is there, to complete this story experience. I loved Julie Kibler's first book, "Calling Me Home", and was not disappointed in this her second novel.
Julie, if you're reading this, I look forward to your next book!

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Very good story

Taking place in different time spans makes this story more interesting. A good time capsule in both eras. Good story.

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So FULL of Heart!

Heart breaking, heart rendering, heart hopeful, heart stopping, heart loving; all the feelings the heart can have. I can't say enough about how much I loved this book; every character took me through the full gamete of emotions! My only wish is that each of these courageous, strong, smart, beautiful women could know what paths they cleared for all women; that all their entire lives made a difference. Cannot more highly recommend this book.....a complete must read; this IS a historical fiction lovers DREAM COME TRUE! Being fortunate to work in the DFW metroplex, I couldn't get to UT-Arlington fast enough. Walking where these women lived, walking the cemetery, reading the markers......I cried all the way through. So honored to have the chance to stop for a moment and honor each of them, their journeys, their sacrifices, their lives. Soooo many thanks Julie Kibler for writing and Karissa Vacker for the wonderful telling of these amazing ladies lives.

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great book

This was a heat breakingly beautiful story. you can identify with all the characters. knowing that these may be fiction, but these situations did happen.

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Rape, lesbians, negative Christianity, and NOT...

...a story about strong women, but rather rebellious women who happen to make it in this sorry world after being mistreated by other human beings, mostly men. Based on truth of a Christian-based group home trying to help women/girls who have no other recourse or resource back in the 1900s when a woman HAD to have a husband in order to function and live and could not work to support herself, etc., no matter the circumstances that left her single and alone. Much like Helen Keller after her father died. Sad and pitiful fact of society at that time in history. However, to include the details of rape and other immoral garbage that does not seem to be true facts, was completely unnecessary. Disappointed that Karissa Vacker has again narrated a disgusting book that I had to skip so much of (and others I couldn't even listen to). So no more listening to any of her narrated stories, and no more by this author, who needs a lesson on what a strong woman really is, not one who lives in rebellion but still expects to have all of God's blessings.

1 person found this helpful