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Call Your Daughter Home|Deb Spera
Call Your Daughter Home
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Overview

Featured on Oprah's Summer Reading List

For readers 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 Bestselling Author of Before We Were Yours

Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778309796
  • ISBN-10: 0778309797
  • Publisher: Park Row
  • Publish Date: April 2020
  • Dimensions: 8 x 5.25 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.6 pounds
  • Page Count: 384

Related Categories

Book Clubs: July 2021

No Tudor England here—these four novels transport readers to less familiar but no less fascinating historical settings.

In Asha Lemmie’s debut novel, Fifty Words for Rain, young Nori Kamiza—daughter of a well-born Japanese woman and her lover, a Black American soldier—is raised by her abusive grandmother in post-World War II Japan. Kept in the attic because her grandparents are ashamed of her, Nori becomes accustomed to a lonely existence. But her world widens when she bonds with her half-brother, Akira, and senses the possibilities for a new life. Lemmie constructs a moving, dramatic narrative that examines family, loyalty and prejudice through both Nori’s coming-of-age and her experiences as a biracial woman.

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera is an unforgettable tale of female friendship set in the small town of Branchville, South Carolina, during the 1920s. Single mother Gertrude is desperate to provide for her children. She’s aided by Annie, a member of a powerful local family, who gives her a job, and by Annie’s Black housekeeper, Retta, who offers to look after Gertrude’s children. The novel’s Southern backdrop and indomitable female protagonists will draw readers in, and Spera’s exploration of race, class and history will provide plenty to talk about.

Set in 1918 Dublin, Emma Donoghue’s The Pull of the Stars tells the story of Julia Power, a nurse struggling to help pregnant female patients who have become infected and subsequently quarantined during the influenza epidemic that devastated the city. Julia’s narrow life of work and survival is forever changed by the arrivals of volunteer Bridie McSweeney and Dr. Kathleen Lynn, a possible Irish nationalist who may be wanted by the authorities. Donoghue’s compelling, compassionate novel unfolds over three days as the women face incredible challenges together. With its themes of female bonding, Irish politics and the nature of identity, this novel makes for a rewarding book club selection. 

Christina Baker Kline’s The Exiles is a powerful tale of female friendship set in 19th-century Australia. After being falsely accused of theft, London governess Evangeline Stokes—pregnant and alone—is sent by ship to the Australian penal colony of Van Diemen’s Land. Facing a future of uncertainty and hardship, Evangeline connects with Hazel Ferguson, a teenage midwife, and Mathinna, a young Aboriginal woman adopted by the governor of Van Diemen’s Land. From the intertwined stories of the three women, Kline spins an epic saga that book clubs will savor, with excellent discussion topics such as female agency and the rights of Indigenous communities.

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