Sing Them Home is a moving 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. With breathtaking lyricism, wisdom, and humor, Kallos explores the consequences of protecting those we love. Sing Them Home is a magnificent tapestry of lives connected and undone by tragedy, lives poised unbeknownst to the characters for redemption.
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Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2009: Trafficking between the here and the hereafter is an enticing premise for fiction, rich with opportunities for the kind of deus ex machina-esque plot twists that--in the right hands--can reel a reader right in. Stephanie Kallos explores this peculiar nexus of living and dead in Sing Them Home, where we're introduced to the Joneses, a Nebraskan family struck twice by meteorological disaster. The three Jones children never quite recover from the first blight (their mother Hope is inexplicably lost in a violent tornado), and Kallos renders their charms and failings as if she herself were like so many of the departed folks who stand sentinel in this small Midwestern town, seeing more than any living eye does. When the second tragedy strikes and the now-grown children lose their father, it's the chorus of the dead (Hope among them) and the living together that eases their homecoming. It's a significant imaginative leap, and you can't help but admire Kallos for taking it: she knows these characters so intimately and spins their stories with such confidence that you'll follow her right to the end, no questions asked. --Anne BartholomewAbout the Author:
STEPHANIE KALLOS spent twenty years in the theater as an actress and teacher, and her short fiction has been nominated for both a Raymond Carver Award and a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the highly-acclaimed novel, Broken for You, which won the 2005 Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award and was selected by Sue Monk Kidd for Today's Book Club, later becoming a national bestseller.
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