Title: Calling Me Home
Genre: Literature & Fiction > Historical Fiction > Women's Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date Published: February 12th 2013
Synopsis: 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.
For the first part of the story, it reminded me of Fried Green Tomatoes. You've got the younger woman, Dorrie, dealing with some drama, and the older woman, Isabelle, using her life story to help the younger one figure out her own thing. But, the similarities quickly ended.
Isabelle was a white teenager in pre WWII Kentucky, living in a small town and just so happened to be in love with a boy who was not white. So, the entire time they're sneaking around, I'm terrified. And for good reason! Her story left me hurt and so very angry... although there are happy bits.
Dorrie, on the other hand, starts out as her hairdresser but they become close friends. So close, in fact, she puts her entire life on hold so she can help out Isabelle with something very important to her. Her love and care was very inspiring, and I'd say she was my favorite character in this book.
I listened to the audio, and there were two narrators, Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver. I enjoyed both of their narrations, and they did a fantastic job of ripping my heart out so I'll wallow about that for the rest of my life.