Today I have a review of Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera. This book is available now from Harlequin/Park Row, and let me tell you! Brace yourselves for some gushing ahead. I loved this book!
A big thanks to my friend, Chrissie, on Goodreads, for first putting this book on my radar when she read it several months ago. I never would want to miss a book like this!
This book! Wow. I recently drove through the Lowcountry of South Carolina, and I am pretty certain I saw tiny Branchville on the way. I am looking forward to my next drive through the area now that I feel a little more connected to that particular place, even if in a different time.
First, I have to mention; the author, Deb Spera, is a writer and producer for shows like Criminal Minds. She has a natural gift for storytelling. I was out-of-this-world impressed with how she told this story. Also of note: her great grandmother and grandmother were from tiny Branchville, South Carolina. Her author’s note at the end left me in tears and feeling even more connected to the story; thinking of my own grandmother and her tiny hometown (in coastal North Carolina). Our grandmothers also shared a distinctive first name.
Everyone knows what the Depression did to our country, but did you know what the boll weevils did to the south starting in 1918, prior to the Depression? Entire cotton crops were decimated for years, and many, many people starved to death. Call Your Daughter Home is set during this time.
Told in three women’s voices: the first, a battered wife and mom to four daughters; the wife of a plantation owner; and the head cook and servant of the plantation. Wow, do these women ever offer differing perspectives on this place and time.
There’s so much goodness here, I don’t even know where to start. There’s also darkness, secrets, and times of trouble. This was not an easy read, though the prose absolutely was. There’s tension and angst, love for family, love for friends who become family, drama, family dynamics; all on a stunning backdrop of this tiny little dot on the map.
I only wish I could write a tribute to my grandmother and her harsh upbringing, the dire times when she didn’t know whether she would eat as the oldest of nine siblings. Just as Deb Spera said about her grandmother, mine was the matriarch of our family. She was a force. A huge thank you to the author, Deb Spera, for writing a beautiful, powerful novel I found an easy connection, which as readers, we all know is the best kind of reading experience.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
About the Book:
A stunning tour de force following three fierce, unforgettable Southern women in the years leading up to the Great Depression
It’s 1924 South Carolina and the region is still recovering from the infamous boll weevil infestation that devastated the land and the economy. Gertrude, a mother of four, must make an unconscionable decision to save her daughters from starvation or die at the hands of an abusive husband. Retta is navigating a harsh world as a first-generation freed slave, still employed by the Coles, influential plantation proprietors who once owned her family. Annie is the matriarch of the Coles family and must come to terms with the terrible truth that has ripped her family apart.These three women seemingly have nothing in common, yet as they unite to stand up to the terrible 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 audacious, timeless story about the power of family, deep-buried secrets and the ferocity of motherhood.
Have you read Call Your Daughter Home, or is it on your TBR? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR