A National Best Seller!
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler is a soaring debut interweaving the story of a heartbreaking, forbidden love in 1930s Kentucky with an unlikely modern-day friendship
Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.
Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.
Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son's irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.
Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply 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 makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.
Kibler, in alternating first-person narrations, delivers a rousing debut about forbidden love and unexpected friendships over the span of six decades. Dorrie, an African-American hairstylist in East Texas, is asked by one of her regular clients, Isabelle, a woman in her 80s, for a strange favor a ride to Cincinnati. On the road, Dorrie learns of Isabelle's painful past. Both in conversations in the car and via flashback from her teenage years, Isabelle reveals her former childhood of white privilege in a prejudiced Southern town and her love affair with her maid's brother, Robert, a black man. She and Robert married in secret only to find their clandestine relationship quickly torn apart. After giving up Robert for lost, Isabelle married again this time for convenience, but Robert's return forces her to confront difficult questions about love, commitment, and her antagonistic relationship with her family. Now, as Dorrie and Isabelle reach Cincinnati, Isabelle reveals her reasons for going to attend a funeral, which uncovers long-held emotions and secrets buried for 60 years. In this compelling tale, Kibler handles decades of race relations with sensitivity and finds a nice balance between the characters of Dorrie and Isabelle. Drawing from her own family history in Texas, Kibler relays a familiar story in a fresh way.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Calling Me Home
I literally went back and forth in time while listening to this novel. I genuinely felt every happy moment and painful moment along with the character. Definitely worth the read!
I loved this book so much. I was not expecting the twists at the end!
Calling Me Home
Touching novel. Well written. Throughout the read I was reminded of ‘Monica Wood’s ‘The One in a Million Boy’, another touching novel.