Call My Name is a fictional novel with a rollercoaster of emotions; a book that I was unsure how I felt, but ended up falling in love with!
Disclosure: I received this book to review through iRead Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.
Two women, bound together by opposite personalities, friendship, love and family—until motherhood rips them apart.
From Jenni Ogden, author of bestselling novel A Drop in the Ocean (Gold Nautilus Award for Fiction) comes a compelling family saga set in the Australian Tropics and spanning the 1960s to 1990s.
Her mother dead from a drug overdose, thirteen-year-old Olivia is rescued by Cathie Tulloch, her mother’s friend throughout the years they were held captive in Japanese prison camps in Sumatra in WWII. Welcomed into the Tulloch’s remote family home in the Australian tropics, introverted Olivia is claimed by dramatic, generous, controlling Cassandra Tulloch as her sister and best friend. Moving to the UK at 18, Olivia finds her independence, and partner Ben. But in 1970, after five years away, she is homesick, and ready to fulfill her long-held dream: to make a family of her own. In Brisbane she and Ben share a hippie lifestyle with Cassandra and husband, Sebastian. But while earth-mother Cassandra effortlessly produces beautiful babies, for Olivia, becoming a mother is hard. Even harder is discovering the truth about her own mother. And when the unimaginable happens, destroying the friendship with Cassandra that has been her bedrock for so long, Olivia tells herself that she doesn’t deserve a family, nor a place to call home.
Praise from Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife & When the Stars Go Dark:
“An emotionally piercing and absorbing account of turbulent female friendship over time, Call My Name is also a keen meditation on the powerful pull of connection and belonging—the places and people that shape and change us, forever calling us home.”
“A gripping story that’s hard to put down—draws the reader into complex and deeply human questions as her characters’ lives intertwine over three decades of joy, loss, grief, and below it all, like a sustaining chord, loyalty and kindness. Call My Name reminds us that love calls us to be generous rather than possessive and that we can go on, even when terrible things happen, because we’re profoundly connected. Layered, sometimes shocking, yet shining with goodness and hope, it’s exactly the kind of story we need right now.” — Barbara Linn Probst, Sarton and Nautilus award-winning author of The Sound Between the Notes & The Color of Ice
“Jenni Ogden’s done it again—given us a beautifully crafted novel filled with the complexities, mysteries and joys of human connection within a family and between sisters, lovers and friends. Filled with authenticity, compassion and grace, Call My Name will find its way deep into your heart and soul, and stay with you long after the last page has been turned.” — Sally Cole-Misch, Award-winning author of The Best Part of Us
“Vivid setting, dynamic plot, and likable characters come together beautifully to deliver an emotionally compelling tale of friendship, love, loss, and forgiveness. Call My Name is a fantastic read.” — Jodi Wright, Award-winning author of How to Grow an Addict & Eat and Get Gas.
“This is a love story … of couples, of friends, of families. A page turning saga that is fresh in its story, yet provides the warmth of an old-fashioned classic.” — Romalyn Tilghman, Award-winning author of To the Stars with Difficulties, 2018 Kansas Notable Book of the Year
I’m going to be honest (when am I not!?) When I originally started the book; I wasn’t a fan. I felt it was long, drawn out, and a little boring, but when that changed (less than halfway through the book) – I. Was. Hooked.
The story Cathie told of her and Jess was a story that I could not rip myself away from. It was nice to get back story on Jess and what Olivia was up against when it came to her mother.
The loss that was experienced in the book – beginning to end – was traumatizing, heart wrenching. The losses experienced were real life losses that touched my heart and I found myself tearing up at more than just one of the losses experienced in the story.
The legal battle was a wrench in the perfect life that was happening and was an unexpected twist that I did not see coming – from beginning to end.
The love, the family, the everything was… amazing.
Call My Name was such an amazing read. I do believe it is geared more so for women so I would definitely recommend it for those who enjoy women’s fiction. It is a read that should not be skipped!
About the Author
Jenni Ogden and her husband live off-grid on spectacular Great Barrier Island, 100 kms off the coast of New Zealand, a perfect place to write and for grandchildren to spend their holidays. Winters are often spent in Far North Tropical Queensland, close to Killara, the fictional home in Call My Name, her third novel.
Her debut novel published in 2016, A Drop in the Ocean, was an Amazon bestseller and won multiple awards including the 2016 Gold Nautilus Award for Fiction, Large Publisher.
Her second novel, The Moon is Missing, was published in 2020 and is set on London, New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, and Great Barrier Island, NZ.
Jenni, who holds a PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology and was awarded the Distinguished Career Award by the International Neuropsychological Society in 2015, is well-known for her books featuring her patients’ moving stories: Fractured Minds: A Case-Study Approach to Clinical Neuropsychology, and Trouble In Mind: Stories from a Neuropsychologist’s Casebook.