Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos, 540 pages.
Having just recently read her first book, Broken For You, I was anxious to read this one and grabbed it at my new favorite bookstore - A Likely Story. It's definitely a long one - makes me think I should have joined the Chunkster Challenge - but moves along fairly quickly.
Reminiscent of Haven Kimmel's The Used World with its small town and quirky characters, but not quite as skillfully done. Sing Them Home is the story of 3 siblings shaped not only by their upbringing in Emlyn Springs, Nebraska but by the tornado that whisked their mother away in 1978. Kallos' ability to make this strange set of circumstances believable and compelling is to her credit. Unfortunately, I found two of the three siblings to be rather one-dimensional and never made it to rooting for them. And in a book this long, it's nice to have some interest in the main characters, no? One of the highlights were the excerpts from their mother's journal as she chronicles her adjustment to small town living, pregnancies, and her battle with MS.
Despite its length and a few cardboard characters, I liked it. If you were a fan of Broken For You, it has the same framework - the story begins and looks like it's headed in a totally different direction than you expect - which is unique. So I recommend it even though it was just a like for me, I think some of you will really enjoy it.