Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Talk - CALLING ME HOME by Julie Kibler

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.

Julie Kibler's debut CALLING ME HOME depicts two unlikely relationships in different time settings. A forbidden mixed-race love story from 1930's Kentucky dovetails with a friendship between the modern-day white female as she travels cross-country with her young black hairdresser to attend a funeral.

Both women, willful octogenarian Isabelle and the more cautious young Dorrie, have been shaped by their past relationships - for the good and the bad. When Dorrie agreed to literally drop everything in her life to drive Isabelle from Texas to Ohio, she didn't know that she would learn the stories that hid so well behind her favorite customer's eyes. Dorrie has been a hairdresser for years, and Isabelle's history has always been stamped on her face, only the details were missing.

As they travel north, Dorrie learns about Isabelle's greatest love and how it tore her life apart. She also finds herself sharing parts of her life with Isabelle that she never thought would leave the privacy of her own mind. The two friends encounter odd looks and more than a few unnecessary comments as they stop for food and accommodations along the way, something Isabelle isn't surprised at. She learned long ago that whites and blacks aren't supposed to mix, no matter what the connections.

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