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Home for erring and outcast girls : a novel

by Kibler, Julie,

Format: Print Book [2019]
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Summary
An emotionally raw and resonant story of love, loss, and the enduring power of friendship, following the lives of two young women connected by a home for "fallen girls," and inspired by historical events.

" Home for Erring and Outcast Girls deftly reimagines the wounded women who came seeking a second chance and a sustaining hope. " --Lisa Wingate, author of Before We Were Yours

In turn-of-the-20th century Texas, the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls is an unprecedented beacon of hope for young women consigned to the dangerous poverty of the streets by birth, circumstance, or personal tragedy. Built in 1903 on the dusty outskirts of Arlington, a remote dot between Dallas and Fort Worth's red-light districts, the progressive home bucks public opinion by offering faith, training, and rehabilitation to prostitutes, addicts, unwed mothers, and "ruined" girls without forcibly separating mothers from children. When Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride meet there--one sick and abused, but desperately clinging to her young daughter, the other jilted by the beau who fathered her ailing son--they form a friendship that will see them through unbearable loss, heartbreak, difficult choices, and ultimately, diverging paths.

A century later, Cate Sutton, a reclusive university librarian, uncovers the hidden histories of the two troubled women as she stumbles upon the cemetery on the home's former grounds and begins to comb through its archives in her library. Pulled by an indescribable connection, what Cate discovers about their stories leads her to confront her own heartbreaking past, and to reclaim the life she thought she'd let go forever. With great pathos and powerful emotional resonance, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls explores the dark roads that lead us to ruin, and the paths we take to return to ourselves.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Kibler's sophomore effort (after Calling Me Home, 2013) is based on a real place in turn-of-the-century Texas: the Berachah Industrial Home, a sanctuary for ruined women. Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride seek refuge there in 1905; Lizzie has a young daughter and a drug habit, while Mattie mourns the death of her son and her abandonment by the child's father. They form a strong, though at times tempestuous, bond that lasts decades as they each attempt to start over Mattie by building a life outside the Berachah Home, and Lizzie by remaining at the sanctuary. In alternating chapters set in 2017, librarian Cate Sutton uncovers historical records from the home, and the research dredges up memories from her upbringing in a conservative Christian household, forcing her to confront the ghosts of a two-decades-old trauma. Although Lizzie and Mattie's narrative arc occasionally meanders, Cate's chapters are absorbing, and this is a moving, well-researched, character-driven tale sure to be savored by fans of Lisa Wingate's Before We Were Yours (2017) and Christina Baker Kline's The Orphan Train (2013).--Martha Waters Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Kibler (Calling Me Home) tells a heartbreaking story of women a century apart who have experienced trauma and attempt to move forward. Cate Sutton is a university librarian in 2017 Arlington, Tex., and she becomes fascinated by archived records of the Berachah Industrial Home for the Redemption of Erring Girls. Cate and her work-study student Laurel Medina bond over their own murky struggles as well as the story of Lizzie Bates, which is part of the home's archives. In 1903, Lizzie takes her baby daughter to stay with her at the Texas home as Lizzie recovers from sexual abuse and drug addiction. There, she befriends another woman, Mattie Corder, and embraces the religious messages and safety provided by Brother JT Upchurch and his staff. Lizzie eventually stays on to continue helping troubled girls. As Cate and Laurel study the archives, they find strength to confront their own traumas together. Kibler's poignant story effectively captures the raw pain and anger these women experience, but also shows them moving forward and finding support in other women. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Unmarried mothers -- Fiction.
Women -- Institutional care -- Fiction.
Reformatories for women -- Fiction.
Female friendship -- Fiction.
Librarians -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Publisher New York :[2019]
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description x, 388 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780451499332
0451499336
Other Classic View