Calling Me Home: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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.
- Click above for unlimited listening to select audiobooks, Audible Originals, and podcasts.
- One credit a month to pick any title from our entire premium selection — yours to keep (you'll use your first credit now).
- You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
- $14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel online anytime.
People who viewed this also viewed
People who bought this also bought
Related to this topic
|Listening Length||13 hours and 36 minutes|
|Narrator||Bahni Turpin, Lorna Raver|
|Audible.com Release Date||February 12, 2013|
|Publisher||Blackstone Audio, Inc.|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #27,738 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#1,191 in Women's Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,540 in Historical Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#7,015 in Historical Fiction (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on June 30, 2020
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Of course, not every book that tackles interracial romance and segregation will make a profound impact on me. It all depends on the author’s delivery of said premise, and in this case, I couldn’t be more impressed with the way the author presented her story and characters. The tale follows a road trip where an 80 year old Isabelle is heading to a funeral with Dorrie, her 30 something year old hairdresser. Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle’s relationship has gone from employer/employee to dear friends, yet there’s always this cloak of mystery that surrounds Isabelle that Dorrie can’t figure out.
And even with Dorrie experiencing her own troubles with her boyfriend and children, she still embarks on this road trip with Isabelle, realizing that her old friend will need her for support. Along the way, it warmed my heart to witness the friendship dynamic between the two, from arguing about the pettiest things to confessing hidden secrets, the biggest one being Isabelle’s romance with Robert, the black son of her family’s housekeeper and her one true love, and the consequences that arose because such an interracial relationship was forbidden.
From there, the author alternates between past/present scenes, with Isabelle being the narrator in the past and Dorrie in the present. This way, both women are given an equal voice and keeps the story balanced and me invested. As Isabelle’s tale is unveiled chapter by chapter, I got stomach butterflies while I read about her sweet and tender romance with Robert but also felt the unbearable heartbreak when the inevitable happened. The fact that the story is set during World War II also heightens the pure desperation, the longing and love these two experience.
One word can’t really describe the range of emotions I felt while reading this story. From the beginning and little by little, I could sense my heart splintering in pieces while outwardly maintaining a calm appearance. Gradually, my throat was painfully clogged up, eyes welled with unshed tears, and mouth slightly quivering. It seemed like with each new obstacle uncovered in the story, a heavy weight would be dropped onto my heart until it completely crushed three quarters into the story and I could not stop sobbing after that point. And when I got to the very end, I closed the book feeling three distinct emotions: sadness, contentment, and determination. Immense sadness for all the injustice the characters suffered and their jagged pain. Content because the story came full circle and left me with a teary smile on my face. And determination to not let the mistakes in the story be repeated in the present, at least not by me, and to bring more awareness to the topics explored in the book because sadly, they still permeate society today.
Everyone needs to read this book. Love is love, regardless of race, gender, age, and background.
Calling Me Home is a part women’s fiction, part romance, part historical fiction standalone.
This story employed a writing technique that I really enjoy. It was a dual narrative with one story in the past and the other in the present. The past story dealt with forbidden love and its consequences, as well as the relationships between parents, children, and siblings. I found the relationship between the main character’s parents to be very unusual for the time and this is the one part of the story I found hard to believe and understand. Otherwise, I felt the author did a fabulous job creating a sense of time, place, and history that drew me in and was very realistic. I could feel the heat, smell the dust, and taste the lemonade. I also really enjoyed slowly discovering the story of Robert and Isabelle. I am fortunate to be friends with a number of mixed race couples and I would love to get their perspective of this story.
The present day story dealt with a journey for Isabelle and her friend/surrogate daughter, Dorrie. This journey showed the ways in which people’s attitudes and prejudices have changed and remained over the last few decades. Many elements of the race relations in this novel are relevant to today’s climate and headlines. Also, the emphasis on motherhood displayed during this journey was profound. I was partial to how beautifully the author showed that family is not only those born to you, but can be found and nurtured in the most unlikely places. I found Isabelle to be a force of nature and a woman whose time had not yet come. I admired her spunk, courage, perseverance, and way of looking at the world. She is a formidable main character that I will not soon forget. The backbone and grit she displayed reminded me of my own grandmother.
This book stayed with me for quite a while after finishing it. I kept thinking about the characters, their experiences, how I wished situations could have been different, and how much circumstances have changed yet still remain the same. The novel was about friendships, love, parent/child relationships, race relationships, segregation, tragic consequences, and loss. This was the author’s debut novel and I was impressed with how sensitively and delicately she handled these themes. I look forward to reading more from Julie Kibler.
Top reviews from other countries
She leaves home and manages to get a job, she ends up marrying a nice kind young man. Previous black husband tyrns up and she is once again torn as she truly loves him.
The story jumps from Isabelle as a young girl and then Isabelle as an old lady with her travel companion going back to Cincinnati to a funeral and we don't know whose till the end
The story is well told and I really liked the characters, they felt real and it took you back to the time in the southern USA when segregation was still the way hence the annulment of Isabelle's marriage to Robert by her parents.
It was a bit of a life story, a bit of a mystery and a step back in time as well.
It's one of those books that after you turn the last page, you are still thinking about it for days after. Although it is fiction, you know that a lot of what happens in the book was not unusual of that time, and I think it's because of that you forget this is a work of fiction and not autobiographical in any way.
I admit it does start off a little slow, but then in builds up to the point where I was still up at 3am reading.
The last page just made me gasp; I certainly didn't expect that ending. Very clever.
This will definitely be up there with some of my favorite fiction books.