We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride
Published by Simon & Schuster UK
Paperback
Published 23 April 2015 (first published 3 June 2014)
400 pages
Library book

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WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT

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.

OPENING 

THERE WAS A YEAR of no desire.

WHAT I THOUGHT 

This is my first time reading the author. I chose this book because I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

I loved We Are Called To Rise even though it made me furious at times, especially in the final chapters. This novel is much more complex than it appears to be. The characters are well-written and interesting and come from an array of vastly different backgrounds. The main incident in the novel or rather how this is handled made me furious. A cop misinterprets a situation, presses his trigger and set in motion a series of devastating events that will change the lives of many other characters. The cop is a highly decorated Iraq veteran so his superiors do everything in their power to cover up the truth of what happened and have his actions seen as justified. I was furious by this. His actions in no way were justified. We Are Call To Rise is an example of how paranoid and messed up some American’s are. The woman was an immigrant from Afghanistan and is therefore perceived as a threat by the cop. I found myself enraged while reading the last few chapters. As far as I am concerned the cop is a murderer and should rot in jail. My heart went out to the woman’s family who will never see justice for what happened and had to listen to awful lies. There is the possibility of redemption at the end when the cop’s mother goes to see the chief of police and tells him how dangerous her son has become since he came home from Iraq, dangerous, violent and paranoid and beating his wife is just one example of this. I liked the structure of the novel, each chapter is from the viewpoint of a different character. I loved the setting of Las Vegas. I don’t think I’ve ever read fiction set in Vegas before so it made a nice change. I found the plot compelling but the attitude towards the characters who were Afghans made me furious. The cop’s actions and attitude represent what a lot of American’s believe – that anyone who is an immigrant or has a foreign accent is a threat.

RATING

4 STAR RATING

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