Sunday, January 6, 2008

Calling Home-Janna McMahan

Calling Home
Janna McMahan
Kensington, Feb 2008, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758221964

In Falling Rock, Kentucky, Roger Lemmons deserts his wife Virginia and their two teen children, eighteen years old Will and fourteen years old Shannon. Roger left the rural backwater town accompanied by a beautician. Although despondent even before her spouse left her, and now worried about their future, Virginia knows the way of the hills is to move on and tale care of business as she did when her dreams were violently destroyed years ago.

Virginia especially sees much of her former self in spirited Shannon. She vows to insure her daughter gets out of Falling Rock by avoiding the errors she made as a teen. As Will has his own issues of abandonment by his dad and feeling like an outsider with the two females in his life, mother and daughter bond closer together with Virginia seeing her “escape” if Shannon makes it, but people have a way of repeating the most awful of truths.

Using music to set the time as the late 1970s, readers will appreciate this strong family drama that looks deep into relationships especially between a mother and her daughter. The rotating perspective of the story line enhances the poignancy; as the Lemmons face extremely difficult choices that with each step turns more complex and disturbing. Life is realistically portrayed as a bi*ch with caveat that somehow the strong thrive. Janna McMahan writes a deep character study of people facing personal problems.

Harriet Klausner

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