Calling Me Home

Request Book Kit

Book and Author

Calling Me Home : When a hairdresser agrees to drive one of her elderly clients to a funeral, she hears the story of a lifetime as her white client shares about her clandestine romance with a black man in the 1930’s.  Published in 2013, 352 pages.

Julie Kibler:  Julie Kibler began writing Calling Me Home after learning a bit of family lore: As a teen, her paternal grandmother fell in love with a young black man, but their families tore them apart. Then, while digging into the past, she discovered her father’s hometown had signs at the city limits warning blacks to be gone by sundown.  Here more about her in this interview with radio station Magic FM105.4:

Video link:

Quote from the book:

Remember this, Dorrie: Some men are just plain bad news. Then there are good men. They’ll do. Then there are good men you love. If you find one of the last kind, you’d better hang on to him with everything you have.


Topics for discussion that this book will bring up include:

  • The motives behind Isabelle pursuing a relationship with Robert–was it purely out of love, or was there also a rebellious streak at work?
  • The book’s portrayal of present and past racial injustices.
  • The relationship between Isabelle and Dorrie–a client and her hairdresser, but so much more than that.  How does it compare to the group member’s experences?

More discussion questions are available from Julie Kibler at


In an interview with Renee Swindle Julie Kibler mentions her love of chocolate–one of her favorite desserts is chocolate sheet cake and ice cream.  I’m sure she would love this recipe for “Kentucky Pie” from Paula Deen, which also ties into the book’s Kentucky setting (and Kibler’s family roots).

For ambiance, you could play some old-time Kentucky music–the library has CD’s such as Old-Time Kentucky Fiddle Tunes and Kentucky Old-Time Banjo plus many more that you could use.


Have you or your group read Calling Me Home?  Would you suggest it to other groups?  Comment on this post to share your thoughts.