Sunday, November 30, 2014

We Are Called to Rise

by Laura McBride
Nov 6-24, 2014

I can't exactly remember why or how We Are Called to Rise got added to my list. I also can't remember the last time a book made me so emotional. I'm so glad I picked up this book and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I finished it.

Similar to the format of Let the Great World Spin, Rise is divided by different characters, each with his own chapter, each not knowing the other, and finally all of them connecting in the same tragic way. I was instantly hooked, shocked and heartbroken all at once. Set in Las Vegas (no secret – one of my least favorite places) the town becomes a character within itself.

"Nothing in nature disappears. Helium becomes carbon becomes diamonds becomes rings. Bodies become bones become dust become earth. And in Vegas, murderers become patriarchs, card sharks become benefactors, the unredeemed become the redeemers. 
And cops are not convicted of excessive force."

A major statement to not only Vegas, but America today. What appropriate timing; so relevant and important.

There is an author's note at the end of the book. In it she states that she grabbed the subject matter from a real-life case and created a fictional story with what she knew. And while the real story as well as her own fiction are "unbearably sad," her goal was to "accept the full unbearableness, and still leave one wanting to wake up in the morning." I'd say she succeeded.

In a small way, I was beginning to guess where the story was going to end up, but even though I was right, I was by no means disappointed. McBride successfully told a very important narrative without trivializing it and instead making it quite profound.

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