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Extended Audio Sample Sing Them Home: A Novel Audiobook, by Stephanie Kallos Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 53.49 out of 5 3.49 (35 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephanie Kallos Narrator: Tavia Gilbert Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781455188154
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Sing Them Home is a moving portrait of three siblings who have lived in the shadow of unresolved grief since their mother’s disappearance when they were children. Everyone in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska, knows the story of Hope Jones, the physician’s wife whose big dreams for their tiny town were lost along with her when she was swallowed up by the tornado of 1978. For Hope’s three young children, the stability of life with their preoccupied father, and with Viney, their mother’s spitfire best friend, is no match for Hope’s absence.

Larken, the eldest, is now an art history professor who seeks in food an answer to a less tangible hunger; Gaelan, the son, is a telegenic weatherman who devotes his life to predicting the unpredictable; and the youngest, Bonnie, is a self-proclaimed archivist who combs roadsides for clues to her mother’s legacy—and permission to move on. When they’re summoned home after their father’s death, each sibling is forced to revisit the childhood tragedy that has defined their lives.

With breathtaking lyricism, wisdom, and humor, Kallos explores the consequences of protecting those we love. Sing Them Home is a magnificent tapestry of lives connected and undone by tragedy, lives poised—unbeknownst to the characters—for redemption.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fans of Ann Patchett and Haven Kimmel should dive onto the sofa one wintry weekend with Stephanie Kallos’ wonderfully transportive second novel, Sing Them Home…[T]here are elements of magic in this story…But the whimsy is grounded by Kallos’ keenly empathetic description of life in a Midwestern small town. The ending may leave you feeling so wistful for these strange, sad people that you find yourself fantasizing about a trip to Nebraska. Rated: A–.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Kallos’ (Broken for You) enthralling second novel takes the reader by storm…Themes of family bonds and conflicts, secrets and sorrows also marked Kallos’ debut, and this time she weaves in an idiosyncratic view of the role of the dead in the lives of the living, sharp takes on business, academic and sexual politics, and a palpable empathy for small Midwestern towns. This novel will find a welcome audience in anyone who has experienced grief, struggled with family ties or, most importantly, appreciates blossoming talent.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Tavia Gilbert brings additional vibrancy to Kallos’ original and affecting novel. Gilbert manages to capture the underlying melancholy of the novel while creating complex and believable characters. With a compelling stage presence, she brings this story to life with an inspired reading that demonstrates her performance ability and creative sensibility.”

    Publishers Weekly (audio review)

  • “Well-crafted plotting and crackling wit make this debut novel by Seattle author Kallos a delight to read and a memory to savour…Book groups will enjoy discussing the layers of meaning, the stylistic nuances, and the powerful message of hope secreted in these pages.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Kallos’ second novel is rife with opportunities for the audio narrator, and Tavia Gilbert takes full advantage. There’s the persona of MS-ridden Hope, who disappeared in a Nebraska tornado years ago but whose diary entries punctuate the story. Her three children develop into a womanizing TV weatherman, a compulsive art professor, and a young woman who does odd jobs and is dying to have a baby. They become distinct personalities, thanks to Gilbert’s expert characterizations. Then there’s the small, mostly Welsh, town with a personality of its own. In clear and impeccable diction, Gilbert recounts kiddie beauty pageants, fancy egg festivals, and week-long funerals…Gilbert will hook listeners. And she gets to sing in Welsh!”

    AudioFile

  • “This fresh, invigorating novel fingers carefully through [its characters’] pain. Kallos doesn’t rip her characters apart, just tenderly shows us their failings as they stumble, in a realistic and satisfying manner, toward better selves. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Gilbert provides a distinctive voice and personality for the three siblings…This stirring musical drama is driven by death and weather, the most certain and uncertain elements in life. Gilbert’s musical talent shines through, both in song and her engaging reading of Kallos’ lyrical prose. A heartwarming story, complete with a happy ending.”

    Booklist (audio review)

  • “Kallos creates unique and fully formed characters, and narrator Tavia Gilbert gives a fully voiced reading of the main characters as well as many important minor characters, creating a uniquely Welsh Middle American ambiance with voice. The nuances of Gilbert’s voice used for children and childlike characters, like Bonnie, is particularly striking. There is also much Welsh, both spoken and sung, and the narrator brings the beauty of the language out.”

    SoundCommentary.com

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • Selected for the January 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 HiphopQuyn | 2/19/2014

    " interesting story about three siblings raised in a traditional Welsh town in Nebraska whose lives are shaped by hurricanes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/15/2014

    " The most interesting character in this book about the loss of a mother to her three children, is the town of Emlyn Springs. Emlyn Springs was founded by Welsh settlers, and has maintained Welsh traditions until the present time. The funeral custom of "singing the dead home" unifies the book as the adult children of a woman taken away by a tornado resolve their grief and are freed from it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 bb | 2/1/2014

    " Just barely started but so far kind of intriguing....update....couldn't finish....boring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 1/31/2014

    " A slow start, and I almost put it down in favor of other books. Kept with it one sleepless night, and then I was hooked. I was able to identify with bits of each character. The whole Welsh language thing was very intriguing. Not as good as her first book, but still a very interesting story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 1/29/2014

    " In 1978 Hope Jones "goes up" in a tornado, never to be seen again. Years later, her children return to the small town they grew up in, after their father dies. This book is overly long--I kept waiting for it to get to the point. LOTS of stuff about Welsh traditions and small-town life. Hope's three grown children are all unhappy in their own ways, and the book seems to be about them magically finding themselves and love, all at the same time. The best character is the eldest daughter Larken, an overweight academic, who soothes herself with food. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chrystal | 1/22/2014

    " I read this book because it is set in the area of Nebraska that I grew up in. The story was strong, but overly long and I was glad of the Nebraska tidbits to keep me moving along. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 1/19/2014

    " The book was just okay. The editing seemed to be non existent. There were spelling errors, names were spelled differently from one page to another and some parts just went on for way too long. Any good editor would have chopped a few paragraphs, took out a few adjectives, made sure the names were consistent throughout and corrected the spelling. These errors made the book much less enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LuAnn Kinsey | 1/15/2014

    " Loved the characters, sacharine ending, didn't quite hang together for me...but liked it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terri Lannan | 1/12/2014

    " I was not a fan of this author's writing style. It really affected my ability to enjoy the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 11/21/2013

    " Not as good as Broken for You "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 AM | 8/21/2013

    " can't reveal rating or review until after book club, but I'm done! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 7/6/2013

    " Good read. It just didn't 'grab' me like the first one did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 3/3/2013

    " I enjoyed Broken for You and found the same kind of good writing, humor, and pathos in this one. Plus, the ending wrapped everything up in a satisfying way. Interesting take on what happens after people die. Found myself really liking Viney a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 10/8/2012

    " Started out really slow, almost painfully slow, but about 3/4 of the way through it started to pick up. I felt it was too wordy, overly explainatory as if the author thought the reader wasn't smart enough to get what they were implying or getting at. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim H. | 9/12/2012

    " Enjoyed it, even if the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 5/9/2012

    " A nice story. I stuck with it, hoping that it would grab me completely. It took me a long time to complete. That is a sure sign that it was not a grabbing novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia Cambier | 4/2/2012

    " Enjoyed the quirky folks who inhabited this story and the trio of truths as seen by each child in the family. A nice read. Kallos is a talented observer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Perri | 3/19/2012

    " Great book.....BUT too complicated, and I got tired of reading it! ..yet...wonderful characters, well written....BUT.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jenn | 3/11/2012

    " Although it took a while for me to really get into this book, once I was hooked, it was a great read. Grief is a theme for this novelist, and both this and her first novel left me in tears, like a movie that gives you a good cry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ahf | 12/11/2011

    " A fully engrossing story of one extended family in Nebraska, and how weather keeps touching them. Full and rich portraits of the many family members. While there is infidelity, it didn't offend me as it might have given grossly extenuating circumstances. Stepanie Kallos is a favorite "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mom | 12/7/2011

    " A very gifted writer. Have read two of her books and both were 5 star. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 10/14/2011

    " not as good as Broken for You...but, good. Interesting writing style but I wish the characters were more likable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/5/2011

    " Thoroughly enjoyed this book! A little bit of magic, a lot of family, tornados, multiple sclerosis - wish we had the magic in real life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 8/17/2011

    " This book was very pretty. It had great details and wonderful imagery. It took forever for me to read, because of the slow pace. If you enjoy books that linger on every minute detail, you will love this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 5/4/2011

    " Kallos is a new favorite author of mine. What a unique story unfolds in this book! Lovely writing style! I savored this book and wished it would never end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joni | 5/1/2011

    " This one took me quite awhile to get pulled into the story. I finally finished it and ended up liking it, but I probably wouldn't recommend it, even though it was the All Iowa Reads selection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brittany | 4/11/2011

    " It made me want to be in the Midwest in the summer. Conjured up a place in my mind. + some interesting stuff about the welsh. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thea | 4/10/2011

    " I'm not sure why I read this 800+ page behemoth... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rita | 3/31/2011

    " I listen to this because it is the Iowa Reads book for this year.
    Enough said "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mom | 3/27/2011

    " A very gifted writer. Have read two of her books and both were 5 star. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 3/19/2011

    " This book was very pretty. It had great details and wonderful imagery. It took forever for me to read, because of the slow pace. If you enjoy books that linger on every minute detail, you will love this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 3/2/2011

    " Was not my favorite book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 3/2/2011

    " Enjoyed it, even if the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean | 2/19/2011

    " Strange but beautiful story of small town doctor whose wife disappears in tornado. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 2/6/2011

    " Enjoyed the characters - 3 siblings. Such a interesting mix. Especially the overweight, older sister. Loved the fact it took place near Lincoln, Nebraska. "

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About the Author
Author Stephanie Kallos

Stephaine Kallos spent twenty years in the theater as an actress and teacher, and as a writer, her short fiction has been nominated for both a Raymond Carver Award and a Pushcart Prize. She is the author of the highly-acclaimed novel, Broken for You, which won the 2005 Pacific Northwest Bookseller Association Award and was selected by Sue Monk Kidd for Today’s Book Club, later becoming a national bestseller.

About the Narrator

Tavia Gilbert, an acclaimed narrator of more than four hundred full-cast and multivoice audiobooks for virtually every publisher in the industry, is an eight-time Audie nominee and the recipient of thirteen Earphones Awards, a Voice Arts Award, and a Listen-Up Award. With frequent inclusion on best of year and annual top ten lists, Tavia is a trusted and increasingly sought-after actress for work across every genre, from children’s and YA, to literary fiction, nonfiction, and genre fiction. Audible recently named her a Genre-Defining Narrator: Master of Memoir, and Library Journal said of this highly acclaimed actress, “as close as you can get to a full cast narration with a solo voice.” Tavia is a producer, singer, photographer, and a writer, as well as the cofounder of a feminist publishing company, Animal Mineral, with fiction and nonfiction focusing on relationships, love, and identity.