Between the time I wrote last week’s Book Talk Tuesday post and our trip to Maui, I did read this one. It’s excellent.
CALLING ME HOME is told in two points of view. Isabelle McAllister is 90-years-old and wants to travel from Texas to Cincinnati for a funeral. Dorrie Curtis is Isabelle’s hair dresser and a friend. Dorrie is in her 30s, a single mother, and is African-
The unlikely pair sets out from Texas and Isabelle spins a story from her youth. She tells Dorrie about her first love, a young black man whose mother worked for Isabelle’s family.
Isabelle grew up protected. Robert grew up with the reality that he couldn’t be seen on the streets of town after dark without being beaten, arrested, or killed.
Their story is spooled out during Isabelle and Dorrie’s drive cross-country and is interspersed with Dorrie’s own story of a looming problem with her teenage son and the man she’s dating.
The identity of the deceased whose funeral Isabelle is heading toward is hinted at nicely. I figured out who it was (not Robert) pretty early on, but it was still gratifying to be right when it was revealed at nearly the end of the book.
The writing is lovely, the story is simple and tragic at the same time.
It’s inevitable that CALLING ME HOME will be compared to THE HELP. There are some similarities, but they are completely different stories. I believe CALLING ME HOME is in development to be made into a movie. More comparisons will follow, I’m sure. But this is an excellent book and it deserves to stand on its own. I recommend it.