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.
|Publisher:||Hawthorne Books & Literary Arts, Incorporated|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Call me Home by Megan Kruse It's 1990 and Amy Merrick is a shy teenager who hates her life. By chance she goes on a blind date with her best friend, Jennifer, and her boyfriend, Sam. There she meets Gary Holland. Gary becomes enchanted with Amy and woes her out of Fanning with promises of a better life in Seattle. Amy leaves with Gary right after Christmas, 1990 and settles in Tulalip, WA. The couple buys a five acre lot in rural Washington and farm the land. Things go well at the beginning and Jackson is born in 1992. Five years later, Lydia follows. The abuse starts right after Lydia is born. Gary was very aloof about his parents and Amy did not realize that there was something wrong with her husband until after the abuse starts. Gary keeps losing jobs, drinks his pain away and takes it out on his wife. It isn't until 2010 that Amy gets the courage to leave her husband. Every time she does, her husband drags her back home. Finally she reaches the Starlight motel - "Even now, he thought of domestic violence as a cheap motel" (p.206) - but Jackson goes back to his father and tells him where his mother and sister are hiding. Next time Amy leaves, she must make the difficult decision of leaving Jackson behind. And so Amy and Lydia go back to Texas - to Amy's mother and they change their names to Lena and Ann Harris. Jackson is gay, and has known it since puberty. He's aware that this causes a resentment on his father and he blames himself for their misfortune. At age 17, Jackson finds himself a "daddy:" Eric is a 60 y/o rich man who loves to pay Jackson for sex. But after Amy and Lydia leave him behind, Jackson moves in with Randy - the only true friend he's ever had. From there he moves to Portland where he lives on the streets until he finds work in Montana - in a construction company. There he meets Don Newlon, the crew boss who falls for Jackson looks. Unfortunately Don is married to Eliza and he keeps telling Jackson that he'll leave her for him. Eventually Jackson realizes Don will never leave Eliza so he reconnects with Randy who comes and picks him up and helps him find Amy and Lydia and they are finally reunited. "Everyone belonged to a place, I thought. It didn't matter if you'd gone forever. You might never come home, but it was still inside you." (p. 263) This is a beautiful tale told in three voices: Lydia speaks from the first person point of view, and Jackson and Amy speak from the third person point of view. The timetable is not linear, but the writer purposely reveals the details of their lives as needed. The struggles of physical/mental abuse are shown by each voice as they perceive them and add up to the tragedy that is domestic abuse. The gay theme is masterfully told by both Amy and Jackson. At one point Amy goes to Seattle to participate in an LGBT rally because she wants the best for her son: "She wanted every promise that lit from these hopeful tongues, the warm and waiting streets they marched on. She wanted him to have what was owed to him, for the world to crack open for him. She did not want for him to feel the poor, small life that was already around him for a minute longer, when all of this was here, waiting." There is also the relationship between Lydia and Jackson. more like siblings they are twins. They feel each other's presence even when they are apart: "...if Jackson lives as though he never knew us at all - it doesn't matter. I'll remember it for us, I thought; I will remember all of it; I will leave nothing out. I didn't know why it was important, but it was." The character development is outstanding. They pop out of the page and speak to you. After a few pages you can't help but feel their pain. This is the best novel I've read this year! 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 and family.
Good story from 3 points of view