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
CALLING ME HOME...
It's been many years since I have read a book that had me so engaged in the characters that I did not want to partake in the daily adventures of my own life.
The authors clever wit made me giggle, while her sensitivity to deep emotional issues made me weep. The best I can describe Julie Kiblier's debut novel is a love story that will pull on your heart strings like The Notebook while make you question racial boundaries and prejudices like The Help. Like Dottie, I am a better person having known Miss Isabelle.
This book told a wonderful story. I just loved it. Would love to see this as a movie, the way I seen it in my head while reading.
Calling Me Home
I absolutely loved this book! I just couldn't wait to keep reading, avoiding the things that needed to be done just to get a few more pages read. I live in South Texas where racists definitely still exist, this book just brought it home to me how much we are all the same. The book was so well written, I fell in love with the characters and will miss them all now that it is finished. I would recommend this book to anyone, perhaps it will open the heart of a few. Thank you for a wonderful week of reading and living with your imagination, Julie Kibler. WRITE SOME MORE!