Call Me Home has an epic scope in the tradition of Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves or Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at nineteen to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two children, Jackson and Lydia, who are rocked by their parents’ abusive relationship. When Amy is forced to bargain for the safety of one child over the other, she must retrace the steps in the life she has chosen. Jackson, eighteen and made visible by his sexuality, leaves home and eventually finds work on a construction crew in the Idaho mountains, where he begins a potentially ruinous affair with Don, the married foreman of his crew. Lydia, his twelve-year-old sister, returns with her mother to Texas, struggling to understand what she perceives to be her mother’s selfishness. At its heart, this is a novel about family, our choices and how we come to live with them, what it means to be queer in the rural West, and the changing idea of home.
A man named Yiannakis collected me from beneath the windmill three hours late and drove me through sheets of rain to a boarded-up hotel. The bottom two floors were flooded with stagnant, fetid water. With a careful scaling motion you could splash...Forward
Megan Kruse’s first novel startles in its capacity for complexity, showing not only the tempestuous nature of family love, but also the near-impossible task of breaking free of it. No matter how many times Amy tries to leave — “pack your...Forward
I love Hawthorne Books, and Call Me Home looks to be a great addition to their catalog. The stormy sky on the cover of Call Me Home foretells the relations between the family members within. A young woman, Amy, leaves home at nineteen to start a...Forward
There is no way to quantify how much it’s worth to be from somewhere; you have to look at the experiences. The same with thinking about those novels that I wrote before … I used to think they were so terrible. But then being able to embrace from...Forward
I believe that you must write for and toward the world you want to live in.—Megan Kruse
A native Pacific Northwest fiction and creative nonfiction writer, Megan Kruse received her MFA from the University of Montana. Her work has appeared many...Forward
The smell of ink and paper. New books arriving never gets old. Each season is a cause for a celebration. Good luck novels and anthologies and may your reception be warm.
Megan Kruse is a young writer of raw and fearless talent and Call Me Home showcases all she can do. She writes here of harrowing lives — of a family bent and broken by violence, where each person is desperately trying to somehow grow toward light and liberation. In the process, she offers a most unlikely tale of hardness and hustle, of grace and loss, of painful love and tough breaks and the unimaginable paths we must all eventually take toward survival.
- Elizabeth Gilbert
- Author of Eat, Pray, Love
I’ve been a big fan of Megan Kruse for a long time, but Call Me Home left me astonished by her talent. Beautifully written, deeply felt and utterly compelling, this story of a desperate family separated and on the run is full of unforgettable scenes and richly imagined characters and heady suspense. It’s so vivid, it feels like my own memory. I recommend it with all my heart.
- Dan Chaon
- Author of Await Your Reply
Megan Kruse has written a tough, unflinching and very loving story about an isolated family trying to scrape by and find a way, one way or another, to survive. I was deeply moved by the lives of her characters and scared for them right up to the end. Just a wonderful book, in every way.
- Beverly Lowry
- Author of Crossed Over: A Murder, A Memoir
An urgent, beautiful book about love and its consequences, set against a backdrop of the unglamorized West. These characters will lodge themselves in your imagination, stick with you long after you’re done reading. A fine and original first novel.
- Kevin Canty
- Author of Winslow in Love
I’m not sure how Megan Kruse did it. Her first novel manages to be a swift yet contemplative story of how a family can love each other fiercely even when every heart involved gets broken. Through its cast of characters, she is able to focus on what makes a human life shine with joy or ache with conflict. Her writing is cinematic—going from intense close-ups to beautiful sweeping wide shots. Call Me Home is a multi-layered and deeply felt wonder.
- Kevin Sampsell
- Author of A Common Pornography
I can’t stop thinking about this book. Call Me Home is a harrowing, beautiful, and tender novel about the meaning of home, loneliness, and the endurance of love. Megan Kruse is a talented and fearless writer, and the prose is just stunning. Call Me Home is a tremendous accomplishment.
- Carter Sickels
- Author of The Evening Hour
Megan Kruse is a stunning and inspiring new voice in American literature. Her beautiful debut, Call Me Home, proves that even as the violence of our lives invents us, a story can do something like save us. Read it and stick it in your heart.
- Ariel Gore
- Author of The End of Eve
Call Me Home is an uncommonly powerful debut novel. Megan Kruse writes with great heart and intelligence as she crafts a gripping story from the shards of a broken family.
- Jess Walter
- Author of Beautiful Ruins
A powerful debut novel told with ferocity and grace.
- Starred Review
- Publishers Weekly
[T]he art Kruse brings to her endeavor will carry the day.
- Michael Cart
What is home, and where is your life supposed to be, if where you are is a place of pain and fear? These are questions that arise in “Call Me Home,” Seattle author Megan Kruse’s impressively forceful debut novel.
- Wingate Packard
- Seattle Times
In her debut novel, Call Me Home, Megan Kruse undertakes sprawling topics including guilt, sex, domestic violence and the complicated love of siblings, parents, children and lovers. These ambitious themes and clearly wrought characters are gorgeously rendered in feeling prose… Kruse’s evocative, often lyrical language serves her subjects well, so that what results is not unleavened pain but painful beauty, even hope.
- Julia Jenkins
- Shelf Awareness
Call Me Home, packs quiet power… Kruse can craft a fine sentence… [Her] skillful language and unusual story construction make for an intriguing meditation on safety, survival, love, and the bonds of blood.
- Sara Rauch
- Lambda Literary
Megan Kruse’s first novel startles in its capacity for complexity, showing not only the tempestuous nature of family love, but also the near-impossible task of breaking free of it… Complete with a sparkling introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert, Call Me Home is a blistering story of lightness and darkness, the power of family and the capacity we have to hurt those closest to us.”
- Rachel Hurn
- The San Francisco Chronicle
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