Night Bird Calling

Written by Cathy Gohlke
Review by Alice Cochran

Fleeing an abusive home, Lilliana Swope arrives in No Creek, North Carolina with a determination to survive, no matter the opinion of others. While in No Creek, Lilliana brings her northern ideals and headstrong resolve to improve the life of all its citizens. Along the way, she befriends a young pastor, opens a non-discrimination library, goes head to head with the KKK, and helps a young girl overcome unimaginable hardship. In this rural town is also Celia Percy, a 12-year-old who is always uncovering some mystery with her active imagination. Ultimately, the dramatics of this 1940s North Carolina town are trivial compared to the internal battles Lilliana is fighting. While this novel speaks to the racial injustices of the South, it is really a story about self-acceptance.

Night Bird Calling is a surprisingly uplifting novel about a woman accepting her past and learning to keep it from defining her future. While there are a few excessively cheesy scenes, they do not detract from the overall value. Ultimately, if you’re calling for a story of self-love and standing up for what’s right, look no further.