Call Your Daughter Home/Alligator by Deb Spera

Kindle Edition, 331 pages
Expected publication: June 4th 2019 by HARLEQUIN - Graydon House Books
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.

Between us we got all the talent in the world, but we got to use every bit to pull ourselves up. We been down but we ain’t down no more. We got to look at this chance like we’re being born all over again.
Call Your Daughter Home definitely has its dark moments, but ultimately it's a story about love, forgiveness and the freedom that truth delivers. All the women were intriguing characters that you'll love. I was impacted chapter after chapter with the life changing events that took little bites out of one's soul. I came to love each character in this book with the exception of the vile men that didn't deserve to be even called human. It's amazing how the author could build characters so real you can despise some of them, feel compassion for some and root for them all in the same story, yet still feel that the characters were believable. I felt compelled to want more. If you like a book where the characters are multi-dimensional and undergo not only the trials of life, but internal journeys of discovery and redemption, this is a must-read.

I’m Eve in the garden, with a gun.
You can't help but care about some of the characters in this book as they pull at your heartstrings early on. For once, it was difficult for me to choose the character I liked the most, as they were all very well written and individual. What I found made this book so charming, was the family element. Through tragedy and learning, through distance and ups and downs, the characters in this book remind the reader of the value of unconditional love and family isn't always blood, what a substantial read. This story is a tale of standing up and doing what's right and learning how to take the walls down and accept some help. Gertrude and her daughters have a tragic past but they find a way to stick together and get the problem solved with the help of their neighbors and friends. Gertrude does have emotional and even physical scars but she finally learns it won't kill her to accept help and let go.

We’re weak alone but mighty together.
I finished this book with an overwhelming feeling of sadness and anxiousness. Deb Spera does an extraordinary job of bringing the reader into the life of these three women and in myself a compelling need to reach out to them. The prose is outstanding and the way in which the author tells the story makes it impossible to leave the book without vivid pictures in your mind. This was an excellent novel of the dark side, but also the soft inner side, to each one of us.

Some people need to blame others for their unhappiness. Parents are always easy targets.
People look for different things in books. One of them is subject matter. Some readers will say that they don't like a book because it is depressing. That is true. But, I think the most important aspect of fiction is the ability of the author to take you where they are. I was with these three women. I lived with them during this storytelling. I felt their pain, helplessness, confusion and love. Spera's book is life as it is. I am disturbed by it, but very glad I read it.

Thank you NetGalley, HARLEQUIN – Trade Publishing, Park Row and Deb Spera for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.

#Alligator #NetGalley


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