Cover image for Call me home : a novel
Title:
Call me home : a novel
Author:
Kruse, Megan, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Portland, Oregon : Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, [2015].

©2014
Physical Description:
xi, 280 pages ; 23 cm
Summary:
"Braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at nineteen to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents' abusive relationship ... At its heart, this is a novel about family, our choices and how we come to live with them, what it means to be queer in the rural West, and the changing idea of home"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780990437000
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Call Me Home has an epic scope in the tradition of Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves or Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at 19 to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents' abusive relationship. When Amy is forced to bargain for the safety of one child over the other, she must retrace the steps in the life she has chosen. Jackson, 18 and made visible by his sexuality, leaves home and eventually finds work on a construction crew in the Idaho mountains, where he begins a potentially ruinous affair with Don, the married foreman of his crew. Lydia, his 12-year-old sister, returns with her mother to Texas, struggling to understand what she perceives to be her mother's selfishness. At its heart, this is a novel about family, our choices and how we come to live with them, what it means to be queer in the rural West, and the changing idea of home.


Author Notes

Megan Kruse is a fiction and creative nonfiction writer from the Pacific Northwest. She studied creative writing at Oberlin College and earned her MFA at the University of Montana, where she was awarded a Bertha Morton scholarship. Her creative writing has appeared in Narrative Magazine , The Sun , Witness Magazine , Thumbnail Magazine , Bellingham Review , and Phoebe , among others. She lives in Seattle.

Elizabeth Gilbert is an American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist and memoirist. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, Eat, Pray, Love , which spent 199 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and was also made into a film by the same name. She lives in Frenchtown, NJ.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

This debut novel tells the story of an abusive marriage and its aftermath from the points of view of the wife, Amy, and her two teenage children, Lydia and Jackson. After Jackson, who is gay, betrays his mother and sister for reasons that are never made clear, he leaves for Portland, where he first prostitutes himself and then lands a construction job in Idaho, where he begins a doomed relationship with his handsome boss, who is married. In the meantime, Amy, with Lydia, flees to her hometown in Texas where the two find shelter with Amy's mother, all the while living in terror at the prospect that Gary, Amy's husband and Lydia's father, might find them. As the story moves backward and forward in time, the lives that Kruse limns emerge as desperately unhappy ones, survived rather than lived. And their world is relentlessly, depressingly ugly, seemingly without hope. This unrelieved bleakness will test the patience of some readers, but, in the end, the art Kruse brings to her endeavor will carry the day.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Lydia and Jackson grew up hiding in the woods of Washington state whenever their parents fought; they had to help their mother, Amy, clean the house after their father, Gary, broke her arm. Kruse's sweeping debut novel tells of a life punctuated by violence and underscored with fear-a life that Amy hopes has enough moments of beauty for her children. After a particularly bad argument, Gary pushes her out of the window, and she knows that this time, she must get her children away from him for good. After 18-year-old Jackson, torn between hate for his father and an intense desire for a father figure, gives Gary some potentially dangerous information about Amy, she is forced to flee with Lydia to Texas to start a new life. Burdened by guilt but determined to give her 13-year-old daughter a sense of hope, Amy reexamines her relationship with Gary, trying to pinpoint the moment when love became fear. Meanwhile, Jackson flees from smalltown Washington to Portland, and then to Idaho, where he finds work on a construction crew and falls into a passionate affair with Don, his married boss. The anxieties and ecstasies of this love carry him into adulthood and away from the brutality of his childhood. Amy, Lydia, and Jackson must redefine their own ideas of family as they try desperately to move on and make lives for themselves. A powerful story told with ferocity and grace. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.