Call Your Daughter Home succeeds in painting an atmospheric portrait of the pre-Depression South, peopling the bleak, ravaged landscape with an almost dizzying array of characters ... Trials and tribulations abound in Call Your Daughter Home ... This is the Deep South, after all, Flannery O'Connor country, so a certain touch of the gothic can be expected ... Some of Spera's dialogue just doesn't read quite right—even so, the drama, sense of place, and deeply human interactions she presents in this well-grounded historical novel allow the reader to push past iffy issues of language to enjoy the sometimes pulpy plotlines.
Lovers of historical Southern fiction and gritty female characters will feel as if they are living in the desperation of these families, then rallying behind these courageous women as they fight for justice.
...[an] impressive first novel ... The first-person narration alternates among the three main characters, and Spera deftly creates distinctive voices for each one. The novel is rich with details about the hard physical work and emotional resilience demanded of women in the rural South almost a hundred years ago. It also makes no bones about marriage in that time ... The novel’s plot can sometimes veer toward melodrama and even overload ... But Spera’s sure-footed depictions of women’s friendships and mother-daughter relationships are the book’s strengths. A story of strong women pushed to extremes succeeds with convincing characters and a vivid portrait of the rural South a century ago.