Book Review: ‘Night Bird Calling’ by Cathy Gohlke

About The Book

From award-winning author Cathy Gohlke, whose novels have been called “haunting” (Library Journal on Saving Amelie) and “page-turning” (Francine Rivers on Secrets She Kept), comes a historical fiction story of courage and transformation set in rural Appalachia on the eve of WWII.
When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek–with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.

About Cathy Gohlke
Cathy Gohlke is the four-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels Night Bird Calling, The Medallion (winner of the 2020 Christy Award), Until We Find Home, Secrets She Kept (winner of the 2016 Christy, Carol and INSPY Awards), Saving Amelie (winner of the 2015 INSPY Award), Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008 and winner of the 2008 Christy and American Christian Fiction Writers Award) and William Henry is a Fine Name (winner of the 2007 Christy Award).
Cathy writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith.
When not traveling to historic sites for research, she and her husband, Dan, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren. Visit her website at http://www.cathygohlke.com and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks
My Rating: 5 Stars!

I have long enjoyed Cathy Gohlke’s books and this one was no exception. She has written a compelling and powerful story here. Set in 1941, she deals with domestic abuse and racism in a small southern town with centuries old, long held beliefs about how things should be. Told from three different viewpoints, Gohlke brings each character to life in this story ina moving narrative. I would like to be able to say that I especially liked a few characters but they were all done so well, that I will most likely keep these folks in my mind for quite sometime. Well done!


My thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for a copy of this book via Net Galley. I received no compensation and the opinion here is entirely my own. 

Publisher: Tyndale House
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Length: 402 pages

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