Calling Me Home

Julie Kibler

20 June 2013
336 pages


A moving love story inspired by a true story and perfect for fans of The Help

In a time of hate, would you stand up for love?

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 . . .

‘If Julie Kibler's novel Calling Me Home were a young woman, her grandmother would be To Kill a Mockingbird, her sister would be The Help and her cousin would be The Notebook. But even with such iconic relatives, Calling Me Home stands on her own’ Wiley Cash, New York Times bestselling author of A Land More Kind Than Home

‘Julie Kibler’s writing is so wise and assured. I laughed out loud in places and had tears in my eyes as I turned the last page’ Diane Chamberlain

'If you liked The Help by Kathryn Stockett, you’ll absolutely love Calling Me Home' Red magazine

‘Before I started reading Calling Me Home, I knew that this was Pan Macmillan’s lead fiction debut of 2013, and that Warner Bros had snapped up the film rights, but nothing prepared me for the overwhelming roller coaster of emotions induced by the astonishingly talented Julie Kibler’s debut novel . . . I cried, and I cried, and after I’d finished crying I cried a bit more. And when people asked what was wrong when I arrived at Fabulous HQ the next day, complete with puffy eyes and blotchy skin, I muttered something incomprehensible about a book that I’d finished reading the night before. In short: Calling Me Home left me speechless. So be prepared to embark on a heart-rending journey during which you will laugh, cry and stare astonished at the very words on the page. No words can quite pinpoint the magic and resonance of this incredible novel, so all that I can say is: you must read this!’ Fabulous magazine
'A beautiful story, beautifully told. The quality of the writing is first class. Whenever I put it down, I always looked forward to coming back to it and I'm sad to have finished it. What I particularly liked was the lack of mawkishness in the book. Both the main characters are very likeable and not in the least martyred despite all they've been through. By the end, they felt like friends to me; two women whose company and whose stories I thoroughly enjoyed. The difficult subject of racism was dealt with face-on, but at the same time handled with the lightest of touches.I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I am already recommending it to friends' Louise Douglas, Bestselling Author
‘You’d never guess that Calling Me Home is a debut novel, Julie Kibler’s writing is so wise and assured. Although the two strong women she’s created come from completely different backgrounds, the bond that grows between them is extraordinary, touching and believable. I laughed out loud in places and had tears in my eyes as I turned the last page. I can’t wait to watch Julie Kibler’s star rise!’ Diane Chamberlain