We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride – 304 pages
An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already happened. We Are Called to Rise is a boomtown tale, in which the lives of people from different backgrounds and experiences collide in a stunning coincidence. When presented the opportunity to sink into despair, these characters rise. Through acts of remarkable charity and bravery, they rescue themselves.
My Review: 4.5 stars
Not only was this an incredible book, but also made sweeter as it was a random find at the library. I was totally attracted to the title. It was on the new fiction shelf, so I took it. WOW. This book is about war on so many levels; war within a family, within countries, within the system and within ourselves. The first chapter had me intrigued and laughing and then the book got serious. I was championing Luis, Avis and Bashkim until the end. The title is so definitively perfect for this book because it reminds us; we are called to rise. Always. Having a CASA worker in this book made it all too real and hit home for me as I have friends that are caseworkers for CASA. As people, as a community, as a spouse, mother, friend, employee, sibling or teacher, we are constantly called to rise. The descriptions of war in Afghanistan were often hard to read, but by g-d, so important in understanding what war is like, and why coming home can be so equally joyous and difficult. I look forward to reading more from Laura McBride.
Quotes I liked:
And what one thinks in the middle of the night is never true anyway. I never worry about the right thing in the middle of the night.”
– “It sill mattered. For a little while, a man and a woman fell in love and they did the best they could for their children. For a little while, a neighborhood of families helped each other out, and loved each other’s kids, and tired to make the world better. And some of those kids will do the same thing. And some of those kids will have a hard time. And some of those marriages will last. And some won’t. And it still all mattered.”
-“I believe the strangest coincidences are opportunities.”