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Call Your Daughter Home

Written by: Deb Spera
Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Featured on Oprah's Summer Reading List 

For readers and listeners of Delia Owens' Where the Crawdads Sing and Sue Monk Kidd's The Secret Life of Bees, this extraordinary historical debut novel follows three fierce Southern women in an unforgettable story of motherhood and womanhood. 

It's 1924 in Branchville, South Carolina, and three women have come to a crossroads. Gertrude, a mother of four, must make an unconscionable decision to save her daughters. Retta, a first-generation freed slave, comes to Gertrude's aid by watching her children, despite the gossip it causes in her community. Annie, the matriarch of the influential Coles family, offers Gertrude employment at her sewing circle, while facing problems of her own at home. These three women seemingly have nothing in common, yet as they unite to stand up to injustices that have long plagued the small town, they find strength in the bond that ties women together. Told in the pitch-perfect voices of Gertrude, Retta, and Annie, Call Your Daughter Home is an emotional, timeless story about the power of family, community, and ferocity of motherhood.  

"Like Jill McCorkle and Sue Monk Kidd, Spera probes the comfort and strength women find in their own company." (O, The Oprah Magazine)

"A mesmerizing Southern tale.... Authentic, gripping, a page-turner, yet also a novel filled with language that begs to be savored." (Lisa Wingate, New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Yours)

©2019 Deb Spera (P)2019 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

What listeners say about Call Your Daughter Home

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Southern fiction at its best

I'm not great at writing reviews, but this book is so good I couldn't see leaving it without a comment.
I love both historical fiction and southern fiction, and this book was an amazing combination of these genres. The voices of the three varied and unique women was captured perfectly by the writer and the narrators. The characters were complex and not just cookie cutter caricatures. I can't wait to read more by Deb Spera. Wow...hard to believe that this is her first novel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • christi mccoy
  • 2019-07-08

Lovely story/perfect narration

The book is wonderful and made even more so by the expertise of the narrators. Since I have used audible.com I have found that the quality of the narration is as important as the content.

These narrators knock it out of the park. As a Southerner I sometimes find my ears offended by poorly executed dialect/accents. Not here. Excellent job.

The story itself grabs you immediately and doesn't let you go. I felt as if I knew each woman personally. Maybe it is because I grew up in the South and have met women similar to each of these steel magnolias.

77 people found this helpful

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  • Kimberly Kelly
  • 2019-11-19

Beautiful Writing...Gorgeous Narration

This story, which chronicles the perspectives of three women around the course of events one summer-fall in the rural towns of South Carolina, is written with such beautiful prose that I could see/taste/feel what was being described and felt like I was there among the protagonists. And each of the three narrators, with their unique drawls and idioms, give life to the characters that has me missing them now that I've completed the book. I'm a fan of women heroine(s?) who display (quiet) strength in the face of oppression and this account celebrates that in spades. But not in a cheesy, flash in the pan way, but with and through the steady press of forward movement that unfolds in a natural, organic way. I am not sure if Ms. Spera has or will write other novels...but I"m certain to be the first in line to consume them.

53 people found this helpful

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  • C. G.
  • 2019-10-09

Outstanding Performance

The story was poignant and haunting. A painful picture of women's lives--both black and white--in the first quarter of the 20th century. But it's the performance that will stay with me. Kudos to the talented narrators!

47 people found this helpful

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  • L. Miseyko
  • 2019-07-07

Wonderful and gripping

The story is magnificent, the writing brilliant and the readers are amazing. My favorite book this year by far

30 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy-Jane
  • 2020-01-16

Beautifully written

I love this story and the characters are so real with plenty of depth. The writing itself is beautiful and at times it reads like poetry. I was really impressed with the writers talent and how well everything flowed.

I am not a fan of books that are made up of continuing monologues by the main characters. For this book the bulk of it was separate monologues to present the characters and there was little interaction among them. I kept waiting for these characters to come together and I would have liked that to happen sooner than it did. I would have also liked more resolution on issues before the books ending.

But the story is excellent, the characters are memorable, and the writing is beautiful.

27 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer L. Francis
  • 2019-09-20

So good I listened twice!!

I've never been able to listen to an audiobook before, my mind always wandered. This was not like listening to a book but like listening to a play!!! Every character distinct and well thought out. What a wonderful book!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Schvell Williams
  • 2020-04-06

Yawn Fest!!! ABSOLUTELY the most boring book!

What a boring boring boring read! I couldn’t wait till it was over. I walked away from this book while it was playing and was able to not skip a beat with the topic and cadence. Save your credits!!! This is definitely not worth it. I would recommend this book if you needed something to fall asleep to. BORING!!

21 people found this helpful

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  • Charnell Huff
  • 2019-09-20

Highly recommend!

Very well written book. I didn’t want to stop listening to it. Highly recommend this book to anyone that appreciates southern historical fiction.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Lesley B. Grady
  • 2020-04-17

Disappointing

This was good up until the end, when we delved yet again into another stereotypical story about the saintly black cook-seer who helps -dies for- the beleaguered white southern family. I’m so over it although I realize the narrative is soothing to many.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Phyllis
  • 2019-11-18

Close to Spectacular

The writing was sophisticated and carefully crafted to create an atmosphere that grabbed the reader/listener and pulled them into the story. The characters were finely drawn and showed the author’s considerable range & skill writing for different voices.

All narrators were excellent. The voices captured the author’s words with rare perfection.

My only objection is that I could have done without the bits of supernatural nonsense. I appreciate the attempt to create something that might have seemed real to the characters. But the whole exorcism thing during the hurricane was just a bit much. Unnecessary and silly.

15 people found this helpful