One of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Books of the Year: “A magical novel that even cynics will close with a smile” (People).
Everyone in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska, knows the story of Hope Jones, who was lost in the tornado of 1978. Her three young children found some stability in their father, a preoccupied doctor, and in their mother’s spitfire best friend—but nothing could make up for the loss of Hope.
Larken, the eldest, is now an art history professor who seeks in food an answer to a less tangible hunger. Gaelan, the son, is a telegenic weatherman who devotes his life to predicting the unpredictable. And the youngest, Bonnie, is a self-proclaimed archivist who combs roadsides for clues to her mother’s legacy, and permission to move on.
When they’re summoned home after their father’s sudden death, each sibling is forced to revisit the childhood event that has defined their lives. With lyricism, wisdom, and humor, this novel by the national bestselling author of Broken for You explores the consequences of protecting those we love. Sing Them Home is a magnificent tapestry of lives connected and undone by tragedy, lives poised—unbeknownst to the characters—for redemption.
“Comparisons to John Irving and Tennessee Williams would not be amiss in this show-stopping debut.” —KirkusReviews, starred review
“Sing Them Home constantly surprises . . . A big cast of vividly portrayed characters.” —TheBoston Globe
“Fans of Ann Patchett and Haven Kimmel should dive onto the sofa one wintry weekend with Stephanie Kallos’ wonderfully transportive second novel.” —Entertainment Weekly
Kallos's (Broken for You) enthralling second novel takes the reader by storm as Hope Jones, Nebraska mother of three, is whisked away by a 1978 tornado, her body never found. The novel opens 25 years later, when Hope's children grown but not grown up gather for their father's funeral after he's killed by a lightning strike. Llewelyn's death is one of many quandaries haunting his children: daughter Larken, an overweight professor beset by fear of flying; son Gaelan, a television weatherman with too many women in his life; and the youngest, Bonnie, who stays in Emlyn Springs working odd jobs. Alvina "Viney" Closs, Hope's best friend, also has issues to resolve. Themes of family bonds and conflicts, secrets and sorrows also marked Kallos's debut, and this time she weaves in an idiosyncratic view of the role of the dead in the lives of the living, sharp takes on business, academic and sexual politics, and a palpable empathy for small Midwestern towns. This novel will find a welcome audience in anyone who has experienced grief, struggled with family ties or, most importantly, appreciates blossoming talent.