Cover Image: Call My Name

Call My Name

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Member Reviews

What a great story! It recounts the story of two friends Olivia and Cassandra who are almost sisters. Cassandra's parents took Olivia in as their foster child when the girls were young and they grew up as sisters and friends. But this is more than just their story even though their two are the central characters; it's also a multi generation tale of their family, friends and those they love. At one time, for example, Olivia and her husband shared a house and lived together with Cassandra and her mate. I loved this beautifully written touching novel! I cant wait to read more from Jenni Ogden. Check it out for an entertaining read! I recommend it.
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Call My Name  is one of my favorite books this year.  Once I started reading, it was very difficult to put it away and go to sleep.  This is a story about family and friends, hot topics during the 70’s and 80’s, love and happiness as well as love and sorrow.  It is a great read that makes you care about the characters; you may hate some and love others.  It will make you laugh and cry.  This is my first book written by Jenni Ogden, but definitely not my last! 
This is my honest opinion of this ARC from Sea Dragon Press and NetGalley.

#Jenni Ogden, #Sea Dragon Press, #Australia, #New Zealand,
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Whilst I absolutely adored the writing style of the book, there were a few things that lowered the rating for me.
The main thing, for me, was the pacing. There were times when nothing seemed to be happening and then all of a sudden the worst possible thing that could happen, did. Whilst it is clear that there were happy moments for these characters, we are seldom allowed insight into those moments, leaving a strange divide between them and the reader. 
I wanted to care about the characters, but I just couldn't sympathise with the protagonist enough to feel like I could. A lot of the time, it seemed we were being told how close the protagonist was to these characters rather than being shown enough for it to seem true.
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What an amazing book! I am for sure going to suggest this to friends. This Author really writes a wonderful story. I will be reading more by them asap!
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Olivia is the foster sister to Cassandra and they are best friends. This story follows them from teenagers through to middle age although most of the story centres on the period when they are married and raising children. Olivia in particular has to overcome several tragedies in her life although each couple suffers the vicissitudes of life. 

I found it particularly engaging in the second half whereas in the first half there were several sections which felt like “telling” rather than “showing”. However this completely disappeared in the second half as the dialogue and more complex areas of character were explored.

The second half also explores the topic of surrogacy especially as it was in Queensland in the eighties. I felt this was handled really well. 
There are many topics in this story worthy of deeper discussion and as such I think this would make a great book club choice. 

Personally I would have liked some exploration of the psychological impacts of being fostered which is hinted at but leaves it to the reader to either ignore or make their own inferences.

Overall an engrossing read that I really enjoyed.
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** spoiler alert ** This book hurt me in so many ways. It was beautifully written and such a quick read even tho it was over 400 pages but it was so sad. I had such mixed feelings about the characters and it seemed like nothing went well for them, except for the fact that they always got back together. I hated Cassandra for most of the story but I also loved her so intensely at times. I had to hold back tears so many times while reading but I think the chapters in court were my favourite. The built up of tension was so good and it was very well written. I just wanted some more sparks of light for the characters. Next to that, the history parts were super interesting and sounded quite realistic. Absolutely would recommend this book, it was wonderful and equally painful.
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Heartwarming.  Heartbreaking.  Powerful.  Filled with real life issues in believable settings.  Jenni Ogden, Thank you for writing this.    A must read book.
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This book was beautifully written! however it was a little to intense and deep for me.  I think I will pick it up again in the fall.  #CallMyName #NetGalley
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I was invited to review this novel as I had read, enjoyed, and reviewed the Moon is Missing, so was looking forward to doing the same for this novel.

Call my Name is an epic novel following the lives of two friends Olivia and Cassandra.  Yet this is not a rosy story of two friends facing the world.  Call My Name takes in some hard-hitting challenges, and I am not going to lie there were times that I really do not know how Olivia tolerated Cassandra.  For me Olivia must have been a saint as I do not think I could have forgiven her.  In fact, sometimes for me Cassandra seemed to be so toxic I am not sure I could have been under her roof, never mind in the same room as her.

This makes Call my Name more enjoyable though – the characters are not saints.  Olivia does find Cassandra hard to forgive, but somehow manages to move on from what I consider to be the damage she causes.  And in this Olivia is a better person than me.  

For me I would have liked to have heard more of the Olivia’s back story – her growing up in New Zealand, and both Olivia and Cassandra’s mother’s stories.  They deserve a novel in themselves.

Apart from this Call My Name is an enjoyable read, and one that I devoured almost in one sitting.
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Olivia is 13 when her mother dies of a drug overdose, leading to Olivia moving in with an old friend of her mom, Cathie Tulloch, Cathie’s husband, and Cathie’s kids Cassandra and David. Olivia will find in the Tulloch’s a family she couldn’t ever have imagined and a best friend sisterhood with Cassandra that lasts them through adulthood and many challenges.

When tragedy strikes, Olivia and Cassandra aren’t sure if they can ever repair their bond.

Through their life stories, we are also confronted with many true social issues and conflict - war, post traumatic stress syndrome, abortion, adoption,  family dynamics… 

I’m still reeling over how the very end played out! I don’t want to say more in case of spoilers…

Thank you to @netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

#netgalley #netgallyreviewer #netgalleyreader #netgalleyarc #fiction #booklover #bookreviews #whatimreading #whatiread #bookish #bookstagram #bookworm #booknerd #bookaddict #bibliophile #bookgram #bookstagrammer #instabooks #bookreviewer #takealookitsinabook
#jenniogden #callmyname
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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. At the heart of the story are Olivia and Cassandra, thrown together when Olivia's mother dies and she's sent to live with a family she never knew but that warmly embraces her arrival. Opposites in character and action, the two women develop a sisterly bond that is challenged and strengthened over the decades by their differences, their heartaches and celebrations. Each faces the constraints on women's lives in the 1970s and '80s in unique ways, and provides a worthwhile lesson in how society's beliefs and norms affect each woman's life path. 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.
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Based in Australia (a place I have always wanted to travel to), this is a story that talks a lot about adoption, their foster families, friendships among other topics. I loved the whole Australian story and it hooked me from the very beginning. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review.
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A story that posed so many questions of my own feelings regarding the issues raised.  Families, single parents, fostering, adoption,  friendships, abortion, miscarriage, euthanasia, past experiences.   It was a roller coaster of a ride through the emotions of the characters as well as my own.  I was drawn into the story early on and hooked to the very end.. I highly recommend this book.
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This beautifully written book almost reads like a feminist version of Forrest Gump-- in its sweeping review of reproductive rights and the injustices against women, children and families. The book is written in the first person from protagonist, Olivia, who leads a life full of one tragic event after another and surrounds herself with rich characters while she herself remains rather emotionally flat.

I wanted to love this book. The author paints a magnificent tableau of life in Australia and chronicles life from 1960-something to the end of the 20th Century. Each topic touched on in this book could be a novel all its own: from war crimes to rape, abortion to adoption, to grief and death, and complex issues like surrogacy. 

And the many twists and turns got  a little too much. For me. It pulled me out of the story to see that nothing ever went right for these people. 

And then when the end included a segment hinting at human euthanasia and the right-to-die, I didn't know whether to consider this a kitchen sink novel where the author who keep throwing every issue she thought of into the mix OR whether it was an attempt to be brilliant and cover everything birth to death. 

And I feel cheated that none of the characters mentioned in the novel ever include us learning about the protagonist's father. 

This was one of the most bizarre novels I have read. And I have read Kurt Vonnegut.
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Call My Name by Jenni Ogden was one rollercoaster of a ride. There was a lot of heartbreak with Olivia and Cassandra, and there were moments when I almost felt overwhelmed by it. I also at times felt frustrated with Olivia, but then in thinking about it, realized I would likely feel the same way that she did, although I wouldn't be proud of it! Jenni Ogden did a good job of setting the scene in Australia, a place I would love to go.

I liked the theme of family being something we can create rather than what we are born into.. this is very true!

There were some disturbing sections regarding the atrocities of war that weren't easy to read, but they are fairly brief. 

Overall I enjoyed this read. There were a few moments when I was like "oh, c'mon!"- sort of the same way I felt reading a book like Angela's Ashes, when bad things just kept happening, but love and redemption can surely win!

Thank you to Netgalley and Sea Dragon Press for a galley edition of this book in exchange for an honest review!
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A couple of summers ago I read and loved The Moon is Missing by Jenni Ogden so when I saw she had another book on NetGalley I jumped at the chance to read it. \this book was heartbreaking and joyful in equal measure, much like real life. It begs the question, what does it mean to be a mother? But it also asks what makes a family? The story asks many pertinent and timely questions about abortion, adoption/surrogacy, and mental health. There was a lot to take on in this book as it spans thirty years or more but as usual Jenni Ogden's writing is emotive and she tells this story beautifully. 

As long as this story was I was swept away in its telling and managed to read it in a couple of sittings. I loved the location of Australia and felt like I had visited there. The descriptions of the beaches, the sand, and the flora & fauna were absolutely lovely. Being on Olivia's journey to find a family and a place to call home. This was such a joy to read for many reasons but what I liked most was the fact that it is simply a story about life and love including all the good, the bad, and messy in-between.
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I would highly recommend this book to… anyone and everyone!  This book will stay with you long after you've finished it, and in the most fabulous way!
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This was such a good read and will definitely be one Ithink about for a long time. I couldn't put it down it was powerful and emotive.
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