Friday, January 29, 2016

We Are Called to Rise

From Goodreads:
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 happened. We Are Called to Rise is a boomtown tale, in which the lives of people from different backgrounds and experiences collide in a stunning coincidence. When presented the opportunity to sink into despair, these characters rise. Through acts of remarkable charity and bravery, they rescue themselves. Emotionally powerful yet tender and intimate, We Are Called to Rise is a novel of redemption and unexpected love.

For the record-- I don't really  review books.  I don't feel qualified, BUT I do love to talk about them and like to feel part of the book blogging world.
From Me:
I had to read this book for my  Library Book Club.
It is a  novel by a Nevada author with a Nevada setting, recommended by the Nevada State Library Association.
(We always begin our year with the book recommended by them.)
**first let me meander a bit---I belong to 4 book clubs, but most times I hate the books chosen by others.    I don't HATE the books after I read them tho--they are usually just books I wouldn't have chosen on my own. 
9 times out of 10 I really enjoy the books from all my book clubs.  It's just that I like to be in control of what I read.  (lately I've noticed how anal I am!! )
So I will write this sentence that I seem to say all the time at book club:
I didn't really want to read this book, but I'm very glad I did! 
I ended up giving it 4 stars!
I'm not sure if those 4 stars are because of the writing or because I liked the story line and the setting.
I was struck by a few lines in this book--so I did something I never do.  NEVER DO! 
I dog-eared a couple of pages!
And now, looking back, I cannot remember the lines that struck  me.
I'm probably going to library hell! 
The book is set in Las Vegas, the most southern part of Nevada,  I  live 500 miles away, in Northern Nevada (it's a big state).  This story is about war,  and the many different ways and people it effects, and I remember one line from the book (even tho I didn't dog ear this page) was that the landscape of Southern Nevada is like Iraq and Northern Nevada is like Afghanistan.
It's probably true.  Southern Nevada is more traditionally desert and we are more mountainous.  Both very dry.
So, it was a good setting -- a setting that became part of the story.  It really was an unforgettable and poignant story of war in today's world.  But there are no war scenes in the story, just what happens 'after the fact'.
I didn't really want to read this book, but I'm so glad I did!
4 stars!
To be fair to my dog eared pages--- I feel I must put something from those two pages in here.
First...Nevada is a great state! As all of them are, but sometimes we get a bum rap.  It's the gambling.  And the prostitution.
The rest of the United States thinks we are ONLY those things, but we who live here are like  "Wha???  oh yeah, I guess those things do exist"
But they are not part of our lives.  We have good schools and churches and clean air and hardworking families! 
And gold.  We have gold.
Nevada is the world's 5th largest gold producer.
But that's another story.
Anyway, here are two sentences from the book that stood out to me:
I grew up, the bastard child of a dirt-poor mother, in downtown Las Vegas.  I raised my son in a town nicknamed Sin City, in a place most American families wouldn't dream of bringing their children, in a state where prostitution is legal and gambling is sacrosanct.
Home.  For a Las Vegas kid, the lights and sounds of a hundred slot machines are more natural than rain, and a public space backgrounded in the bells and chimes and gravel rolls of bored travelers standing at the kaleidoscopic games is as commonplace as sky in Montana or snow in Vermont.
Living here, we don't notice those things.  But we know they're there.  It's what tourists come for, but us? Naw.  Why would we?
We don't notice those things, but yet we do.
It's hard to explain.
I didn't really want to read this book, but I'm so glad I did!


bermudaonion said...

Oh my, I'm the same way. I wonder why in the world my friends choose the books they do and then I end up liking them. This sounds like a good one.

Stefanie said...

I admire how you challenge yourself. Being part of four book clubs really takes you out of your comfort zone and pushes you to read something your eyes would slide past in the bookstore.

JoAnn said...

Four book clubs means a LOT of reading not under your own control! I used to belong to 2 in person clubs and a couple online, but found that was too much "prescribed reading". Now I'm down to one book club and occasional read-alongs online. So glad this turned out to be a winner.. adding to my list :)

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