Andree Duval, Relief Librarian, recently enjoyed reading Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler, a novel of historical fiction that is loosely based on a true story. Here is her review:
Home for Erring and Outcast Girls by Julie Kibler captivates the reader with stories set in two different timelines. One is a well-researched fictional account of the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls which operated in Texas during the early 20th century. The other story revolves around Cate Sutton, an injured and withdrawn university librarian, who works with historical records.
The church run home is unusual for its time because it wants the best for both mother and child and believes the way to accomplish this is to keep the pair together. Lizzie and Mattie are two strong and very different women who find sanctuary and friendship at the home. Their lives full of pain, loss and love are at the base of both the historic and present day stories.
Cate is obsessed with unearthing the story beneath the home’s documents and often walks to the home’s cemetery located on the university grounds. As she works with Laurel, a student library assistant, to unravel the women’s story, her complicated past is also revealed.
The compelling parallel narratives make the reader move quickly back and forth between the stories. One wants to finish one chapter to get to the next in order to discover what happens in the other timeline. Unexpected revelations and the power of friendship make this a very satisfying read.
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