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The Resource Sing them home, Stephanie Kallos

Sing them home, Stephanie Kallos

Label
Sing them home
Title
Sing them home
Statement of responsibility
Stephanie Kallos
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
This novel is a portrait of three siblings who have lived in the shadow of unresolved grief since their mother's disappearance when they were children. Everyone in Emlyn Springs knows the story of Hope Jones, the physician's wife whose big dreams for their tiny town were lost along with her in the tornado of 1978. For Hope's three young children, the stability of life with their preoccupied father, and with Viney, their mother's spitfire best friend, is no match for Hope's absence. Larken, the eldest, is now an art history professor who seeks in food an answer to a less tangible hunger; Gaelan, the son, is a telegenic weatherman who devotes his life to predicting the unpredictable; and the youngest, Bonnie, is a self-proclaimed archivist who combs roadsides for clues to her mother's legacy, and permission to move on. When they're summoned home after their father's death, each sibling is forced to revisit the childhood tragedy that has defined their lives
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • Things are swept away by tornados in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska: pianos, houses, and a young girl and her mother. Although the young girl, Bonnie Jones, is eventually recovered, her mother, Aneira Hope Jones, never resurfaces. The painful circumstances surrounding their mother's death leave the Jones children, Larken, Gaelen, and Bonnie (henceforth christened Flying Girl), emotionally stunted and struggling to learn how to love. Years later, when another natural disaster draws them together, the three are confronted by the clouded past that has haunted them since childhood. In multiple ways, it is the community members of Emlyn Springs who teach these motherless children how to love again. Sing Them Home ushers us into small-town life, with all its distinctive cultural nuances, eccentric personalities, and homegrown secrets. With the same beauty and lyricism of her first novel, Broken for You (2004), Kallos stitches together a colorful patchwork of memories and images, creating a rich narrative fabric that develops and changes as it passes through each character's hands. -- Paulson, Heather (Reviewed 11-01-2008) (Booklist, vol 105, number 5, p25)
  • /* Starred Review */ Kallos's (Broken for You ) enthralling second novel takes the reader by storm as Hope Jones, Nebraska mother of three, is whisked away by a 1978 tornado, her body never found. The novel opens 25 years later, when Hope's children—grown but not grown up—gather for their father's funeral after he's killed by a lightning strike. Llewelyn's death is one of many quandaries haunting his children: daughter Larken, an overweight professor beset by fear of flying; son Gaelan, a television weatherman with too many women in his life; and the youngest, Bonnie, who stays in Emlyn Springs working odd jobs. Alvina “Viney” Closs, Hope's best friend, also has issues to resolve. Themes of family bonds and conflicts, secrets and sorrows also marked Kallos's debut, and this time she weaves in an idiosyncratic view of the role of the dead in the lives of the living, sharp takes on business, academic and sexual politics, and a palpable empathy for small Midwestern towns. This novel will find a welcome audience in anyone who has experienced grief, struggled with family ties or, most importantly, appreciates blossoming talent. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed September 1, 2008) (Publishers Weekly, vol 255, issue 35, p33)
  • /* Starred Review */ The Jones family would seem to have no luck. Aneira Hope Jones, already terminally ill, was swept away by a tornado in 1978. Now her husband has been felled by lightning, and his longtime mistress, Viney-best friend to his wife and virtually the stepmother of his three children-must rally alientated, overweight art scholar Larken; sex-obsessed Gaelen, a famed weatherman mostly because of his family history; and their slightly nutty little sister, Bonnie. The Jones siblings have had far from perfect lives. But they're also rooted in the warm and sensible little town of Emlyn, NE, proud of its Welsh heritage, and this fresh, invigorating novel fingers carefully through their pain. Kallos (Broken for You ) doesn't rip her characters apart, just tenderly shows us their failings as they stumble, in a realistic and satisfying manner, toward better selves. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/08.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed September 1, 2008) (Library Journal, vol 133, issue 14, p118)
  • Fractured when the mother is whirled away in a tornado, a Midwestern family is finally restored in this engaging if drawn-out saga from Kallos (Broken for You, 2004).Like Larken Jones, one of its central characters, the novel is enormous and unrepentant. It hinges on the disappearance and presumed death of Hope Jones in 1978, leaving her three children (Larken, Gaelan and Bonnie) to be brought up by their father Llwellyn in the Welsh-derived community of Emlyn Springs, Neb. As the novel opens decades later, Llwellyn is killed by a lightning strike while playing golf, forcing the siblings, each damaged in his or her own way by the loss of their mother, to reassemble. Larken, a professor of art history, defends herself with food and her love for Esm, a neighbor's child; TV weatherman Gaelan prefers casual sex and bodybuilding; eccentric, virginal Bonnie collects random items of trash. Kallos employs extracts from Hope's diaries and the perspectives of various characters, including Llwellyn's long-term mistress Viney, to expose with wit, whimsy and inexhaustible detail the secrets of the past and developments of the present. The narrative eventually reaches semi-predictable resolutions to the problems of all: Larken and Esm (and Esm's father) become a family; Bonnie has the child she craves with Blind Tom the piano tuner; and Gaelan is reunited with his first love. Useful, grounding glimpses of a darker world of betrayal and anguish in a censorious, narrow-minded community are easily crowded out by the emphasis on quirk and charm.Intelligence and spirit sustain this epic, but sentimentality wins the day. (Kirkus Reviews, October 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
289411
Cataloging source
BTCTA
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Kallos, Stephanie
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3611.A444
LC item number
S56 2009
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Adult children
  • Grief
  • Parents
Target audience
adult
Label
Sing them home, Stephanie Kallos
Instantiates
Publication
Distribution
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
542 pages
Isbn
9780871139634
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 148600614
  • (OCoLC)148600614
Label
Sing them home, Stephanie Kallos
Publication
Distribution
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
542 pages
Isbn
9780871139634
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 148600614
  • (OCoLC)148600614

Library Locations

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      37.377573 -76.770995
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