We Are Called to Rise (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Salman Rushdie said, “literature opened the mysterious and decisive doors of imagination and understanding. To see the way others see. To think the way others think. And above all, to feel.”

Two new novels will grab you at your core, getting hold of your empathy, sympathy and humanity, as only good stories can.

We are Called to Rise by Laura McBride is narrated by four characters tragically hitting bottom. Set in residential Las Vegas—a character in itself—Avis' marriage is suddenly kaput, as her son Nate returns from his third tour in Iraq. Roberta is a court-appointed advocate for children, and Specialist Luis Rodriquez-Reyes is hospitalized in Walter Reed, injured and traumatized. The brutal details of the downfall of each are vivid. When their lives intersect, McBride tests their ability to love and forgive. The title, taken from an Emily Dickinson poem, hints at the commitment we must have to ourselves in order to transform our lives from tragedy to triumph.

In Flying Shoes, Lisa Howorth draws on the abduction and murder of her younger brother when he was nine. Her genius is that she weaves the tragedy into a bigger story of a small Southern town, spinning tales of myriad characters whose lives intersect with the tough, quick-thinking Mary Byrd Thornton. As Mary Byrd narrates the novel with humor and meandering Southern storytelling, she becomes a friend you want to have around forever. I miss her still.

— Sarah Bagby

June 2014 Indie Next List

“Bashkim, Avis, Roberta and Luis introduce us to a Las Vegas not apparent to the casual tourist. Beyond being residents of the same city, it is hard to imagine what could possibly link a third grade Albanian immigrant, a middle-aged woman on the brink of divorce, a dedicated volunteer in the Child Advocacy System, and a young Mexican war veteran recovering from physical and mental trauma. Through their stories, we see tragedy and hardship, and, ultimately, what the human heart is capable of and the inseparable link between being human and making humane choices for ourselves and others.”
— Andrea Avantaggio, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO


Three lives are bound together by a split-second mistake, and a child's fate hangs in the balance. What happens next will test--and restore--your faith in humanity.

Far from the neon lights of the Vegas strip, three lives are about to collide. A middle aged woman attempting to revive her marriage. A returning soldier waking up in a hospital with no memory of how he got there. A very brave eight-year-old immigrant boy.

This is a story about families--the ones we have and the ones we make. It's a story about America today, where so many cultures and points of view collide and coexist. We Are Called to Rise challenges us to think about our responsibilities to each other and reminds us that no matter how cruel life can be in a given moment, it is ultimately beautiful to live, and live fully.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781476738963
ISBN-10: 1476738963
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: June 3rd, 2014
Pages: 307
Language: English