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We Are Called To Rise is a debut novel, one of those books where multiple points of view all come together at the end. I have mixed feelings about this one. It has a firecracker of an opening that ends up fizzling out, which was disappointing. The beginning grabbed me immediately. Avis is reaching into her sexy underwear drawer when her entire life changes with shocking news. This opening was so well done, and it goes nowhere. Avis is sidelined after this explosive scene, her character never really developed. Roberta, another point-of-view, serves as an objective reporter but isn’t developed as a character. The real story here is about Luis, a gravely injured and bitter veteran, and eight-year-old Bashkim, child of struggling refugees. Their story is what kept me reading, and it’s very well done, complicated and meaty and wrenching. I saw the ending coming, and I’m still not sure what I think about it. It’s gratifying in a sense, but it feels a bit like cheating and I’m not sure it was earned. Overall, I’m glad I read it despite its flaws, and I look forward to seeing what else McBride writes.

Source disclosure: I purchased this book.

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