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Call Me Home

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  512 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Call Me Home has an epic scope in the tradition of Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves or Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at 19 to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents’ abusive relationship. When Am ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Hawthorne Books
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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Update 1/08/2016: Megan Kruse named a PNBA Book Award Winner 2016! Brava, Megan!

The power of desire. The first flush of lust that takes us to trembling bodies we hope will shelter us, bodies that might become home. Megan Kruse, in her debut, Call Me Home writes of desire and of home, and the vast space that separates them. In her world, that space is filled with violence, betrayal, and smoldering, heart-twisting longing.

Amy, barely out of high school and
Larry H
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully poetic yet emotionally brutal at times, Megan Kruse's Call Me Home is absolutely fantastic. I stumbled on it when it was recommended by a columnist on a blog I read faithfully, and it really blew me away; clearly the last book I'll read in 2015 is one of the best I'll read all year.

Amy is growing up in the small Texas town of Fannin, and she dreams of something better in her life. She thinks she has found it in Gary, who is mercurial but passionate, and whoo dreams of getting awa
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I’m not sure how Megan Kruse did it. Her first novel manages to be a swift yet contemplative story of how a family can love each other fiercely even when every heart involved gets broken. Through its cast of characters, she is able to focus on what makes a human life shine with joy or ache with conflict. Her writing is cinematic—going from intense close-ups to beautiful sweeping wide shots. Call Me Home is a multi-layered and deeply felt wonder.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: highly-recommend

Nothing prepared me for the heart, body and mind immersion I’d take when reading Megan Kruse’s debut novel Call Me Home. From lyrical language, to living breathing characters; from vivid landscapes to exquisite detail; from gut-wrenching scenes to epic themes, Call Me Home is one of my favorite novels of all time. I escaped with Lidia and her mom, Amy, from an abusive relationship. I sweated with Jackson at his Idaho job and with his lover. I yearned to have this fa
Mark Landmann
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, fiction
I'm so grateful I got to spend a few days with these courageous, flawed, mistake-prone but profoundly inspirational, human characters. It's not so often I read a book where every detail feels genuine to me, even the words of dialogue. And I think the author did an especially remarkable job with the gay character. A simple but affecting story, involving and moving from start to finish, which will stay with me. ...more
Sarah Obsesses over Books & Cookies
This is a dark story that brings a few words to mind: abuse, dirt, sweat, sex, childhood, uncertainty, family.

On the surface it's about the beating of a wife and the two children who have to deal with it. On the inside it's more about the kids making sense of it. And dealing with their own lives. The writing was great, I loved how easily I got sucked in. It read to me like a short story even though it's a full length novel.

The only gripe I have with it, as trivial as it is was the over use of
Adam Strong
Jun 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
A novel written from three different perspectives, three separate voices, all exploring the blueprint of a fragmented family. This book dives deep into the body of trauma, the anatomy of bad decisions, the concept of ownership. What happens when we fall in love, how far does one person over own another person. Heartbreaking, hypnotic, visceral raw and real.
Vincent Scarpa
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This novel had my heart in its hands for 300 pages. A tremendously moving narrative, whose characters will stay with me. Can't wait to read what Megan Kruse does next. ...more
Megan Berryman
Apr 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's been a long while since I've finished a book this quickly, so that by itself shows that this is a good book. I loved the flow of it, I loved the way that time line jumped around to slowly fill in the back story.

Jackson's story was really interesting. Part of me wanted to hate him for being a little shit, but with everything that happens to him, it's really hard to. I really wasn't prepared for the sex to be as graphic as it was though. It doesn't really bother me, but it's more what I woul
Jul 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I read a sentence and felt eight emotions at once. Its rare to find a book that can deliver that sort of complex reaction once, and yet it happened at least once a chapter with Call Me Home. I want to invite all these characters over for a hug and a bowl of hot soup - I feel we've bonded after I've seen all they've been through. They're so well written they could show up tomorrow and it would be no surprise. ...more
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A haunting family drama, Call Me Home explores themes of abuse, safety, love, longing and home. Amy, Lydia and Jackson are on the run from Gary, Amy's abusive husband. Separated from his mother and sister, 18-year-old Jackson experiences his own idea of home: a coming-of-age story that is so beautifully written, it will make your heart ache. Kruse has mastered the language of fear and love so well here. One of my favorite books this year, Call Me Home is an absolutely gripping read from this ama ...more
Doug Dosdall
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A deeply moving book whose characters grabbed hold of me from the very first page. The two children, Jackson and Lydia, living in fear of their abusive father, are compelling and real characters you can't help feeling drawn to. The author also gives us a wonderful sense of each of the places the novel takes us to. From places I've been to those I now feel like I do know but each unique and far from the usual stereotypes of fiction. ...more
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
CALL ME HOME by Portland writer Megan Kruse follows three members of a family fractured by abuse. While this sounds bleak, it is not, as she immerses us in the hearts of these characters, their longings, their views of the world, their fears. The language is stunning, and the book delivers all the satisfactions of characterization and story that I seek in a great novel.

Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book about loneliness and beauty and family and place and what grounds us there, about all the ways we hurt and find our fumbling way back to each other. I loved this so much and Megan Kruse is so good.
Bookworm LLC
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Call Me Home touches on so many subjects that are, in all honestly, common in today's society. Although a work of fiction, it is a raw and open look into a family dealing with abuse, homosexuality, and generational dysfunction. While I found it difficult to read at times because of those things, the honest content was also the thing that made me appreciate this first novel by author Megan Kruse. There is no pretense in the storyline, and Kruse uses wonderfully descriptive, and at times graphic, ...more
Carlos Mock
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Call me Home by Megan Kruse

It's 1990 and Amy Merrick is a shy teenager who hates her life. By chance she goes on a blind date with her best friend, Jennifer, and her boyfriend, Sam. There she meets Gary Holland. Gary becomes enchanted with Amy and woes her out of Fanning with promises of a better life in Seattle.

Amy leaves with Gary right after Christmas, 1990 and settles in Tulalip, WA. The couple buys a five acre lot in rural Washington and farm the land. Things go well at the beginning and Ja
Andrea Stoeckel
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
(In the days when this needs to be disclosed, Megan Kruse is my cousin. However, I purchased the book from Amazon. I did NOT receive it as a gift. This review was not requested or solicited by Megan or anyone connected with Hawthorne Books. This review is a genuine response by a seasoned book reviewer)

Amy and Gary grew up in Southern Texas, and Gary could hardly wait to leave. His story was that he was an only child, and being forced to work on the ranch was akin to being hired help for his pare
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received "Call Me Home" from Hawthorne Books through Goodreads 'giveaway' program. It's a thought provoking story about domestic abuse. One book can't begin to cover every aspect of such a difficult issue but Megan Kruse's first novel does provide a kind of trail from beginning to end for one particular woman and her 2 children. It's hard. It's complicated. The physical and emotional damage done to all is deep seated, far reaching and often self inflicted. How does it start? How does a girl wi ...more
Jun 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2015
Sometimes you need a book that you can curl up with and escape the world with and Call Me Home by Megan Kruse is just such a book. The short and skinny is that it’s about a woman named Amy who has tried to flee her abusive relationship several times, only to finally succeed when her son is 18 and her daughter is a young teenager. Life in an abusive home has affected each member of the family differently (such as her son’s newfound independence and her daughter’s growing resentment), but for Amy, ...more
Philip Palios
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are only a handful of novels that have brought me to tears, and this is one of them. In "Call Me Home," Megan Kruse pulls at the heartstrings as she describes the traumatic experience a family goes through when suffering from domestic violence. Told from the perspective of the spouse and the children, Kruse is able to describe the struggle, the heartbreak and the love that a family experiences. She describes the relationship between siblings in a way that hits home to anyone who has grown ...more
Kelly Ferguson
I met Megan at a writers' conference and based on what she had to say about writing, people,and living in the world, knew I would like her book And I did. The characters are instantly real, the prose is tight, and she throws in those tiny observances and descriptions (I call them Easter Eggs, although I think that might be a gaming term) that pull me in. As the four members of this broken family wander the west, trying to piece together a life and what they have meant to one another, I cared, wh ...more
Carrie Kellenberger
Dec 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbt, young-adult
I received this book through an online international book exchange on Facebook and I am thoroughly impressed with Megan Kruse's Call Me Home.

This is an unforgettable story about family and siblings, and it is still resonating with me even though I finished it a few weeks ago. The story is told from three perspectives: Amy, a young mother of two who leaves her hometown with a man she barely knows, only to end up in an extremely abusive relationship, and her children Jackson and Lydia.

At 18 year
Book Riot Community
I love Hawthorne Books, and Call Me Home looks to be a great addition to their catalog. The stormy sky on the cover of Call Me Home foretells the relations between the family members within. A young woman, Amy, leaves home at nineteen to start a life with a man who turns out to be a mistake; by the time she finally tries to rectify the situation, she has two kids and can’t seem to outrun her husband. Meanwhile, her son wants to explore a life outside of the one he has at home–a life made more di ...more
I think I set expectations too high with this book. Based on some of the reviews I read prior to reading it, I was anticipating this book to be amazingly well written and thought provoking . . . kind of like All the Light We Cannot See (which I just finished). Call Me Home was a good book overall, the storyline had promise, but I found that I was really interested in only one of the characters. Without Jackson, and his personal struggle with his sexuality and how he'd betrayed his mom & sister, ...more
Jul 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
Call Me Home is a sad tale full of sad people and their sad, sad lives. Amy, Jackson and Lydia deal with an abusive husband/father; however, I found nothing in the novel to make me like or care about any of them. For me, the book just didn't go anywhere and I just wanted it to be over.

SPOILER: If a woman runs from her husband and goes to the effort to change her and her child's names, why would she run back to her parents' home and the small town where everyone knows her? Isn't that the first pl
Charlie Smith
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Entire, original review available at blog: HereWeAreGoing, here:

This was brought to my attention and passed on to me by a friend who thought it worth a read. It has all sorts of blurbing going for it and an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is a story of abuse mistaken for love, the damage and disaster of dysfunctional families, and the power of forgiveness. The writing is quite skilled, the emotions spent and sputtered are often powerfully moving,
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at 19 to start a life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents’ abusive relationship. When Amy is forced to bargain for the safety of one child over the other, she must retrace the steps in the life she has chosen. Jackson leaves home and finds work on a construction crew in the Idaho mountains. Lydia, his 12-year-old sister, returns with her mothe ...more
Hardcover Harlot
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I received a copy of this book from the First Reads giveaway, and I was excited to read it. Dysfunctional family relationships are always interesting to me. I had some reservations, however: I'm not always a fan of multiple narrators and stories that jump around chronologically. Also, when I saw that the introduction was from Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, I was extra cautious. I needn't have worried, however. Megan's novel is an emotionally-charged exploration of family dynami ...more
Sandra Frey
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received a copy of Call Me Home via a Goodreads giveaway. There is a great deal about this book that is lovely. The story is often unsettling and at times heartbreaking, but the focus always manages to stay on the simple sweetness that good people can protect in themselves through hardship. The characters focus on small moments and small memories to stay sane in the midst of larger, more frightening issues, and the author gives these small puzzle pieces just the right number of words to honor ...more
Jul 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After one too many beatings by her abusive husband, Amy takes her children Lydia and Jackson to a motel, doing her best to go where her husband will never find them. But Jackson goes home and tells his dad where they are. He drags them back to the house. The next time, Jackson mom and sister leave without him, forcing him to start a new life alone. And he’s gay. This is a story of the aftermath of abuse, told in the voices of Jackson, Lydia and their mom. It will grab your heart and hang on to i ...more
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Megan Kruse is the author of Call Me Home, a novel from Hawthorne Books (2015), with an introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert.

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