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We Are Called to Rise

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3.95  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,530 Ratings  ·  1,313 Reviews
An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can't remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already ...more
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Simon & Schuster
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Marian Luisi I think it may be more about what Avis did in response to that and all the other "Nate-related" happenings. I was so impressed she risked losing…moreI think it may be more about what Avis did in response to that and all the other "Nate-related" happenings. I was so impressed she risked losing Nate's love in order to save him from hurting anyone else or himself. (less)
We Are Called to Rise by Laura  McBrideA Sudden Light by Garth SteinAstoria by Peter StarkThe Painter by Peter HellerWhiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer
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1st out of 9 books — 11 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
May 08, 2015 karen rated it really liked it
Shelves: free-from-work
this one is also more of a 3.5.

for me.

i think it is very well-written and well-developed, and i know it is going to appeal to a broad range of folks, but my personal disposition is a little too cynical and cranky for its general tone. it's one of those multi-perspective novels where disparate people's lives intertwine and converge unexpectedly when horrible things happen. which i love.

it's about all the small things that make up a life - the tiny moments that seem insignificant, but can have
...more
Angela M
Sep 18, 2014 Angela M rated it it was amazing
I am amazed that this is a debut novel . The writing drew me in from the first page and then the descriptions , especially of Las Vegas life just blew me away . The story and characters are so skillfully drawn you would have thought that Laura McBride had been doing this for years . I was hesitant at first to write this because I'm not sure I can accurately express what an emotional read this was for me . It was just so damned sad ! Call me milk toast or whatever you want. I was so taken by this ...more
Dem
Apr 13, 2016 Dem rated it really liked it

. 4.5 Stars

I had a hard time parting company with the characters in this novel and think they will stay with me a long time.

We are called to rise is a wonderful thought provoking novel with amazing characters and and a great setting.

I have to be honest and say if I had passed this novel in the book shop I would never have picked it up and that is down to the cover of the book. But I would have missed out on a wonderful story if it hadn't been for a few reviews of my Good read friends.
This book
...more
Debbie
Sep 03, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
Shelves: debuts
They may be Called to Rise, but I am Called to Complain. I’m the victim of a bait and switch! I got sucked into a story that immediately made me rub my hands in glee. Ah, this one is going to be juicy! This is a perfect chapter! A woman named Avis starts telling her story: she does something provocative, then finds a menacing piece of surprise, and then is delivered shocking news from someone she loves. (Forgive me for being vague, but I don’t want to give any spoilers.)

I’m poised and ready for
...more
Carol
With the bright lights and intense heat of a Las Vegas setting, this story intertwines the lives of a wife and mother trying to save her marriage after a tragic loss, two soldiers each struggling to overcome the horrors of war, and one remarkable and brave little Albanian boy.....the heart of the story.....desperately trying to save his family.

While the ending kind of thru me for a loop, truly enjoyed this touching debut novel and look forward to future offerings from this new author.

Update: Ma

...more
Elyse
Oct 15, 2015 Elyse rated it really liked it
BASHKIM and LUIS ROCK!!!!!
AVIS and ROBERTA....not so much!!!!

I strongly liked the men in this book more than the females. Yet.. liking the characters
or not does not factor in my 'overall' rating.

Roberta's character was minor ..and one dimensional....( the children's court appointed
special advocate), she was basically like a reporter...( flat personality - yet her role served a
purpose).
Avis was often a grating character. I wanted to feel more compassion toward her --but her personality or sty
...more
Jen
Jul 27, 2015 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An emotionally charged novel. A woman whose 29 year old marriage dissolves and whose adult son is troubled; a soldier who returns from war, battered and bruised both physically and emotionally; an immigrant 8 year old boy and family whose lives are thrown into tragedy due to cultural differences. At the core of each story is despair and sadness. These characters are called to rise: to move forward in their deepest, darkest moments; to repair, recover and redeem themselves. It's a story about hea ...more
Diane S ☔
Jun 06, 2014 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
The opening scene in this novel was humorous, sad but humorous as well. I could really picture this happening, it was so realistic and vivid. Than everything got serious, pretty quickly. The novel is narrated by four different characters, the youngest named Bashkim is eight. He quickly stole my heart, so wise for his years, always thinking and loving his little sister and his Nene. Avis, the character in the opening scene, proves to be a very strong person. I quite admired her. All these people ...more
Britany
Oct 05, 2015 Britany rated it really liked it
Recommended to Britany by: Diane S ☔
Shelves: own
What a powerful book. I'm left feeling raw and holding onto the sliver of hope that the book has instilled in my heart. I wish I would've read this book at another time in my life, because I feel that it would have impacted me more than it already did. I look forward to a re-read down the road.

Tough subject matter relating to PTSD suffered by soldiers fighting in Iraq. The book all the way around is depressing and filled with horrifying and tragic events. Still the author brilliantly sews the s
...more
☮Karen
Dec 19, 2015 ☮Karen rated it really liked it
Damaged people with damaged lives living in Sin City, trying to make sense of it all. Covering many major issues, this book packs a wallop.

The war in Iraq: Two young men, traumatized by what they've seen there and then coming back trying to assimilate into some semblance of normal. Will that be possible?

PTSD. Child and spousal abuse. Guns. The foster care system. The loneliness and confusion of being an immigrant in America. Not a happy book -- at all -- but very important issues are brought t
...more
Connie
Jan 07, 2015 Connie rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking events, broken lives, and hope are what Laura McBride gives the reader in her first novel, "We Are Called to Rise". This story is told from the perspective of four characters who are strangers, with Las Vegas being the only common tie until events join them all together. Each of these characters, Avis, Luis, Bashkim and Roberta are struggling with their own lives, some just barely getting through the day. Each of them are weighted down with a hopelessness.....of wondering if they ...more
Cathrine ☯
Apr 03, 2015 Cathrine ☯ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My reviews are based on how a book can entertain, educate, amuse, move and inspire me, rather than how flawlessly, or not, it is written. You know when out of all the people you meet, that one special person comes along and you just know that you get one another? If the circumstances allow, you will be very good friends for a long time? That’s how I feel about this book. There are many excellent reviews that will give you more info than what I write. I will say that stories like this are my ulti ...more
Camie
Apr 08, 2015 Camie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
"We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then , if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies"
Emily Dickinson

"With this novel, Laura McBride dismantles the American Dream. Set in Las Vegas, our most opulent nowhere , a long- running marriage collapses in a single moment. A boy's family crumbles in a clash of culture. Soldiers return from bad wars detonated~the pins pulled on their fragile minds. Still , they must all somehow move forward from these losses, into futures
...more
Carol [Goodreads Addict]
Aug 27, 2014 Carol [Goodreads Addict] rated it really liked it
We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies—
- Emily Dickinson


We Are Called To Rise is by Laura McBride. I would have never chosen this book on my own. It is completely out of my usual genre. So I am very thankful to my friend Becky who sent me this book. I will remember these characters for a long time.

 photo tumblr_my4w16nemf1r2afqho1_500_zps37a0103f.jpg

We Are Called To Rise is about several characters, all from different walks of life, all living in Las Vegas, and all
...more
Crystal Craig
This book is a perfect example why Goodreads needs to have half stars. I feel three stars is too low, and when I compare We Are Called to Rise with other books I've given 4 stars, it just doesn't measure up. It took me a long time to get into this story. I wasn't a fan of Avis. I just didn't find her likeable. Having said that, I soon found myself completely engrossed by young narrator, Bashkim. What a great character.

At the heart of it all, this is a great story, and well-worth the read, howev
...more
Amber
This was more of a 3.5, but good enough to be rounded up to a 4.

This book started off so well that I actually thought it was going to better than it was. The first chapter fooled me, it was so juicy and interesting. It was probably the most entertaining start to a book I have read in a while and so I expected more. While the rest of the book was pretty good, maybe more of a 3.5 rounded up, there were parts I found boring. The story is told by 4 narrators: an immigrant boy, a soldier, a housewife
...more
Tania
Apr 11, 2015 Tania rated it really liked it
I'd rather life knowing I made a mistake than wondering if I could have made a difference if I'd tried.

4.5 stars. What a beautiful story. The writing is filled with emotion, but not sentimental or soppy. This is a book about real life and difficult decisions, and how no person is only good or only bad. I became invested in all the (very diverse) characters lives, but I especially felt for Ava. The only reason I deducted half a star is because it felt like her story was left too open-ended. It wa
...more
Lynn G.
" 'But if, sometimes, an unspeakable horror arises from the smallest error, I choose to believe that it's possible for an equally unimaginable grandeur to grow from the tiniest gesture of love. I choose to believe that it works both ways. That great terror is the result of a thousand small but evil choices, and great good is the outcome of another thousand tiny acts of care.'", page 301 We Are Called to Rise. This passage sums up what I feel is the main message of this book. In order to surmount ...more
❀Julie
May 12, 2015 ❀Julie rated it really liked it
Shelves: library, favorites
I loved this story and thought it was interesting being told from the perspective of four diverse characters, and how their lives converged. While I found all the perspectives engaging, I enjoyed Bashkim’s and Avis’s the most. My heart broke for Bashkim and my heart went out to Avis for the circumstances she had faced. So much of the story seemed real and after reading the author’s note at the end of the book it made me appreciate the story even more. While it was sad, it was not “unbearable” as ...more
Iris  Pereyra
We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride
We Are Called to Rise
Laura McBride photo Laura-McBride-3a_zpscgyodrne.jpg
The Author a Las Vegas native, is a community college teacher in Nevada. We Are Called to Rise is her first novel.

Even though I've never been in Vegas I realize it's like no other place on Earth. Building a city in the middle of a desert under some of the harshest natural conditions has always been given as an example of the power and determination of the human spirit.

Some of my favorites stories are the ones where a city or landscape becomes part of the narrative and o
...more
Dianne
Jan 22, 2015 Dianne rated it liked it
Four disparate story threads pull together to illustrate how lives can intersect and how each of us can make a difference. The stories were interesting - I especially liked the child, Bashkim - but I liked it, didn't love it.
Rebecca Foster
The lives of four Las Vegas residents intertwine in a story about the aftereffects of the Iraq War. When tragedy brings them together in the novel’s second half, all four have a rare opportunity to show great acts of courage. As the Emily Dickinson poem that provides the novel’s epigraph and title intones, “We never know how high we are / Till we are called to rise; / And then, if we are true to plan, / Our statures touch the skies—”

It helped to learn (from the author’s note) that the novel is b
...more
Branwen Sedai *of the White Ajah*
"We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies-"



We say, "Thank you very much" and "I appreciate what you have done" to people who fill our grocery bags, to people who offer us a ride across town. What are the words to say to someone who gave you back your life, who believed that you still had a soul, who acknowledged how bad it was possible to feel? Shouldn't there be another language for this? Different words altogether?


An
...more
Jennifer
A raw and emotional book. This book contained so much sadness, yet the moral of the story is in the title -- "We are called to rise." We get hurt, our lives get shattered, we do things that we know will hurt others, we do things not knowing their full implications. One gut punch comes, and then another. We can give into defeat, or we can rise, but we can't do it alone. Our lives are interconnected and we need each other.

4 solid stars.
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This is one of the most emotionally moving books I’ve read in a long time and whileI had been looking forward to reading it, I had no idea it would have such a huge impact on me. Based loosely on a real life event (VERY LOOSELY), this book has a way of capturing your heart and making you feel overwhelmed with the realities of life where people can get away with things. In spite of the saddness that is packed in this book, this book gives yo
...more
Becky
I loved this book, I was sucked in by the first few pages & I could not put it down….Each chapter is about one of 4 people, each with their own story. As the book goes on, these people & their stories come together. Each person is someone you wish you knew more about but yet we know enough to pull for each of them….a compelling story, I just thought it was so wonderfully written…..I love to read a book, no matter what the subject is, that will pull me in, tell me a story & make me ca ...more
Carole
Sep 15, 2014 Carole rated it really liked it
The story covers the lives of 4 different characters. I liked the little boy, Bashkim, the best. I think the author did a wonderful job portraying each one, and connecting them all in the end. It teaches us that life can change direction very quickly, and even tho we do not have much control of the circumstances, how we react directs the future. With hope, we are called to rise. I would recommend this novel!
Julian Lees
Nov 17, 2015 Julian Lees rated it liked it
A tragic tale. Reading it was a bit like swimming in a sea of grief. I liked Luis's voice but found Roberta and Avis irritating. The ending was extremely predictable too.
Clif Hostetler
Feb 11, 2016 Clif Hostetler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
PTSD, split-second mistakes, and picking up the pieces after life has changed forever are major themes in this book. I experienced the first half of the book as a melancholy story about desperate life situations. Then I began to identify with some of the characters just as their situations began to get worse. Then when things seemed hopeless (view spoiler) ...more
Dale Harcombe
Feb 01, 2015 Dale Harcombe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is told through several voices. There is Avis, whose husband opts out of their marriage. Avis is also concerned for her son Nate, now a policeman, Nate is a returned serviceman after three tours in Iraq. There is Roberta, the case worker, who does her best for the children who are victims of family breakups and tragedies. She is perhaps the least fleshed out of the characters in some ways and yet she is vitally important. There is Luis, a soldier battling his own demons. All of these ...more
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2016 Reading Chal...: We Are Called to Rise (Las Vegas) 1 20 Jul 23, 2015 05:18PM  
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Laura McBride is a writer and community college teacher in Las Vegas. When a novel makes her laugh and cry, she shares it with a friend. If this were her high school yearbook, she'd write: Love more, fear less.

http://lauramcbrideauthor.com
More about Laura McBride...

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“It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing. What is most beautiful is least acknowledged. What is worth dying for is barely noticed.” 38 likes
“It all matters. That someone turns out the lamp, picks up the windblown wrapper, says hello to the invalid, pays at the unattended lot, listens to the repeated tale, folds the abandoned laundry, plays the game fairly, tells the story honestly, acknowledges help, gives credit, says good night, resists temptation, wipes the counter, waits at the yellow, makes the bed, tips the maid, remembers the illness, congratulates the victor, accepts the consequences, takes a stand, steps up, offers a hand, goes first, goes last, chooses the small portion, teaches the child, tends to the dying, comforts the grieving, removes the splinter, wipes the tear, directs the lost, touches the lonely, is the whole thing.
What is most beautiful, is least acknowledged.
What is worth dying for is barely noticed.”
11 likes
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