Book Talk: We are Called to Rise

a novel

Laura McBride

"This is a story about families-the ones we have and the ones we make. It's a story about America today, where so many cultures and points of view collide and coexist."



Oh, how this book made me cry. I've been reaching for more fiction based novels lately and this book was such a great choice. I reached for this book every chance I got, even if only to read it for 15 minutes.

It's about 3 main narrators, who all have one thing in common right from the beginning, their home is Las Vegas. Whenever books are written in different perspectives, I'm constantly wondering how each character is connected to the other. I think that's what really had caught my attention. I wanted to know how.

Let's start with Avis, just like the book does:

You have a woman in her 50's, who has lived in Vegas all her life. She is married and has been for 30 years, but her husband leaves her for his secretary. She had lost her daughter and then had a son who served in Iraq. He returned home and joined the police force rather quickly because in Vegas everyone knows everyone. 

Then you have Bashkim:

He is an 8-year-old immigrant from Albania with his mom, dad, and younger sister. He is the brightest and kindest boy you could meet. His father had to leave Albania for trying to stand up for something right and went to prison for about 20 years then they came to America. They have an ice cream truck and are very poor.

Then you have Luis:

He is a Mexican-American soldier in Iraq who is later injured physically without any recollection how and struggles to deal with what he does remember.


You'll also see Roberta a few times but she becomes more relevant later in the story.


Now you have these 3 very different characters all in the same book, all from and living in the same place, Las Vegas. The way they connect is such a heart tugger. You will sob from reading this story. But you will also have hope, cheering each character on.

This story truly is so relevant to the America we live in today. Marriages end because of office relationships. Soldiers return home, physically and mentally ill. People are shot because they are believed to be armed and dangerous but are really shot because they are not like "us" and stereotyped. Children are in and out of foster care. And there is so much abuse amongst families behind closed doors.

But with a little hope and with a little courage and a little love, we have seen strangers come together holding hands in times like these, in hopes that things will be alright.

And when you are done reading this, you have hope that the characters will be alright.

The author took a true incident and created a fictional story around it which makes the story feel so real and so true and so familiar. You actually read more about this in the other parts in the back of the book.

If you want to know how all these characters are relevant to the other and you don't mind a few tears, I highly recommend reading this book.