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Summary

A stunning, moving tale of forbidden love in segregated 1930s Kentucky, perfect for fans of The Help.

Love doesn't play by the rules… Shalerville, Kentucky, 1939. A world where black maids and handymen are trusted to raise white children and tend to white houses, but from which they are banished after dark. Sixteen-year-old Isabelle McAllister, born into wealth and privilege, finds her ordered life turned upside down when she becomes attracted to Robert, the ambitious black son of her family’s housekeeper. Before long Isabelle and Robert are crossing extraordinary, dangerous boundaries and falling deeply in love.

Many years later, eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle will travel from her home in Arlington, Texas, to Ohio for a funeral. With Isabelle is her hairstylist and friend, Dorrie Curtis – a black single mother with her own problems. Along the way, Isabelle will finally reveal to Dorrie the truth of her painful past: a tale of forbidden love, the consequences of which will resound for decades…

©2013 Julie Kibler (P)2013 Blackstone Audio Inc

Critic reviews

”Fans of The Help with love this touching debut…A poignant tale of race relations in America, it will have you hooked” <Sunday Express, S Magazine )

”This touching tale covers the same difficult subject of racism and segregation in 20th-centuary America as The Help. But it’s a much more human and personal book…A sad but life-affirming book” (Bella Magazine)

”Comparisons to The Help are inevitable, and though there are echoes of Kathryn Stockett’s popular best-seller to be found in Calling Me Home, Kibler has crafted a wholly original debut” (Booklist)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Venetia
  • St Cirgues la Loutre, France
  • 13-12-13

A gentle road trip

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend. I loved it. A hard-hitting, touching story of love and loss, race and hopelessness and of the damage that society can subject its people to.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I cannot choose between the two main characters. Both were well-crafted and rounded and one without the other is unthinkable. The story is dependent on the relationship between the two women and, therefore, the one complements the other.

What does Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Both narrators were excellent and their readings added colour and character to the book. These readers were obviously very carefully chosen and the people who cast them have to be congratulated.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried at the end of this book. Both characters were very real to me, but the end was perfect.

Any additional comments?

A lovely gentle listen even though the story was harrowing at times.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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a Quietly Powerful Story

This is a story that gripped me from the start because both main characters are interesting and strong women in different ways. This is emotional without being sentimental and artfully unfolds the story of a life. Highly recommend.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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BLACK WHITE - WHITE BLACK. MESMERISING

Would you consider the audio edition of Calling Me Home to be better than the print version?

can't answer - haven't read the print version. However, I applaud the readers of the audio edition. Their expressive voices, their interactions - that they were (seemingly) of the place and time gave the storyline a vibrant life.

Any additional comments?

CallingMeHome has become part of a triumvirate for me - there are 3 audible books over and above good; this is one of them. It, and the others, left me more knowledgeable - about the subject matter; more moved - that man/woman behave thus, and beyond grateful that such books have been written, and audio'd!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great book !

Where does Calling Me Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The characters, the history, the injustice of life. It made me laugh and cry, I wanted to listen to it all the time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Yes definitely I'm now interested in listening to others books with a history like this.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The narration along with the story line makes this a good listen. I wanted to know what was going to happen next but it also went at a nice pace not hurrying along. I found myself speaking out loud at some of the things that were happening as well as laughing out loud. I would listen to it again.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Nothing

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A great listen. I didn't want the journey to stop!

Read well by the two narrators which made it more alive and felt like you were in the car with them! A gripping tale, although sad in places because of prejudice and discrimination but the strong love was so warming. Well written and a really great listen which will leave you wanting more - of the story and from the author!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • sue
  • fordingbridge, United Kingdom
  • 25-04-14

This Book Grew on Me as I Got Deeper Into it.

I am not sure if this could ever be a favorite book but it was certainly a pleasurable gentle read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow!

Where does Calling Me Home rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Calling Me Home, is one of the top audio books that I have listened to and I have listened to some good ones!

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the storyline and the way that it was narrated. Although it was two stories that intertwined and at others more, the tale was clearly told and brilliantly read, making it easy to follow.

Which character – as performed by Bahni Turpin and Lorna Raver – was your favourite?

I loved both of the main female characters. I loved the readers voices too. I love the way that they interpreted the relationship between the two women.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The book did make me cry, when Isabelle lost her baby.

Any additional comments?

Read it or rather listen, you might find that you enjoy it as much as I did.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Prejudice and pride!


Wow, I thoroughly enjoyed this book of the road trip with Miss Isa and Dory on their way to the funeral. The book was spent going over the life of Isabelle who experienced the most awful prejudices from the people who should have loved her.
Sorry to get on my soap box for a rant but America was a racist paradise through the twentieth century. The way blacks were treated in a century when we thought we had moved forward from slavery is appalling. Read Small Island by Andrea Levy if you disagree.

The narrators truly bought this story to life, I loved the older gentle voice of Isabelle reflecting on her youth and as for Dory what a beautiful southern lilt, I could listen for hours. ( I remembered her voice from The Help)

Some reviewers compare it to The Help but is very different and each has its merits.try the above mentioned book if you enjoy this sort of writing.

The crossword puzzle book of clues threading through the book that Isabelle and Dory completed during the road trip was a clever element which cemented the intent of chapters

I laughed and cried throughout this tale, although the latter was unfortunately more prevalent and by the final chapters I felt I knew Miss Isabelle like a family member.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of the most heart breaking and lifting books I've ever read.

I'm a huge fan on "The Help" in audio,
If not for the wonderful narrators which really make you feel you are their with the characters.
I loved this book and can't wait to listen to it again.
I don't like massively sad and upsetting books but this one was twists,turns,ups and downs.
With enough Heart warming parts I was sad it ended.
One of my favourite books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heartbreakingly beautiful read

A beautiful story of love,heartbreak and the ongoing struggles for equality.i love Isabells character and the author made it easy to both relate to ,love and hate the characters
I would definitely recommend this story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ingela
  • 22-01-15

Stunning and simply unforgettable

If you could sum up Calling Me Home in three words, what would they be?

A heartbreaking beautiful life-story

What did you like best about this story?

That I could feel that this partly was a true story. Life stories such as these are with us here in real life. It never felt unrealistic bot wow so very romantic it was.

Which scene was your favorite?

Maybe in the end was it that very last one. So touching. But there were a bunch of good moments there.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, this one needed time. I needed time to melt it all, to get new strength and think about what just happened etc.

Any additional comments?

Higly recommended! These narrators were both perfect and did it so very well. - I LOVED this story and the audiobooks listening was absolutely stunning gripping at times. - Don't forget your tissues.