Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published July 23rd 2019 by Crown Publishing
About the Book:
In turn-of-the-20th century Texas, the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls is an unprecedented beacon of hope for young women consigned to the dangerous poverty of the streets by birth, circumstance, or personal tragedy. Built in 1903 on the dusty outskirts of Arlington, a remote dot between Dallas and Fort Worth’s red-light districts, the progressive home bucks public opinion by offering faith, training, and rehabilitation to prostitutes, addicts, unwed mothers, and “ruined” girls without forcibly separating mothers from children. When Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride meet there—one sick and abused, but desperately clinging to her young daughter, the other jilted by the beau who fathered her ailing son—they form a friendship that will see them through unbearable loss, heartbreak, difficult choices, and ultimately, diverging paths. A century later, Cate Sutton, a reclusive university librarian, uncovers the hidden histories of the two troubled women as she stumbles upon the cemetery on the home’s former grounds and begins to comb through its archives in her library. Pulled by an indescribable connection, what Cate discovers about their stories leads her to confront her own heartbreaking past, and to reclaim the life she thought she'd let go forever. With great pathos and powerful emotional resonance, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls explores the dark roads that lead us to ruin, and the paths we take to return to ourselves.
I'm so full of emotions right now, having just finished reading Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler...my feelings are a jumble, just like they were for the characters who live in this book. Such a mixture of joy and sadness, hope and doubt. This book is mesmerizing and suspenseful; my heart was in my throat while reading, compelling me to keep turning pages.
The characters in this book are as broken and as beautiful as a piece of sea glass; their relationships with each other, the love and sometimes the frustration that they feel for each other are poignant and real. This beautiful book reminds us that there is beauty to be found even in things that were broken; that our lives are filled with dark and light, love and loss, faith and despair. These characters and the journey they take will live on in my heart always.
While the story line is fiction, the novel is woven by true happenings. The author masterfully wove the past and the present into a hard to put down read. Julie Kibler captured this story and made the details so real it was easy to imagine it happening. She wove hope throughout the pages, giving you more reason to keep reading. Her prologue begins with the very question that was on the mind of the reader as you turned the pages to learn more about Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride. Thank you for bringing this unfathomable story to light, history must be told.
I really appreciated the author’s tastefulness in giving us enough information without all the horrid details. And excellent job with the characters and the way the story was written; going back and forth in time really made what the characters had to go through , in the story, bearable. Definitely would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good historical read. Research alone was stellar and unfolded into one well told story.
Thank you NetGalley, Julie Kibler and Crown Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an impartial review; all opinions are my own.
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