Sing Them Home

by Stephanie Kallos
Published by Blackstone
Literary Fiction/Literature

AudioFile Earphones Award

Kallos’s 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. Getting into this may take a bit, but Gilbert will hook listeners. And she gets to sing in Welsh! AudioFile Magazine


Aneira Hope Jones’ disappearance—swept up by a tornado in 1978—defined the lives of her three children, Larken, Gaelen, and Bonnie. Twenty-five years later, the siblings gather for their father’s funeral, and through a series of flashbacks, their lives emerge, as do the characters, customs, and rituals of a small town in southeastern Nebraska. Music underscores both this recording and the townspeople. Gilbert provides a distinctive voice and personality for the three siblings, from the alto of overweight art history professor Larken and the baritone of handsome weatherman Gaelen to the fluting soprano of flower child Bonnie. Excerpts from Aneira’s diary are also read, in lighter tones. 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