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30 Authors Event: Author Patry Francis Recommends We Are Called to Rise


I am so happy to be a part of the 30 Authors in 30 Days event and as they say, we have saved the best for last!

Don’t know about 30 Authors? Well here’s what’s been happening:

30 Authors in 30 Days is a first of its kind event aimed at connecting readers, bloggers, and authors. Hosted by The Book Wheel, this month-long event takes place during September and features 30 authors discussing their favorite recent reads on 30 different blogs. There are also some great prizes provided by and BookJigs. For the full schedule of participating authors and bloggers, visit The Book Wheel’s 30 Authors page or join the 30 Authors Facebook group to catch up on all the great authors and recommended reading. You can also follow along on Twitter with the #30Authors hashtag!

I am honored to welcome Patry Francis to my blog and share a book she highly recommends.

Author Patry Francis on  We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride


I’ve read that Mr. Rogers carried around a simple note in his pocket that read, “You can love anyone if you know their story.” It’s a truth shared by the mothers, who are often the last person standing behind their son or daughter after they have committed a crime that society finds unforgivable, and by the best of novelists.

Though most authors don’t carry a physical reminder in our pockets, Mr. Rogers’ note represents our greatest challenge: to construct a human being from words alone who will feel so real that we will see through our own prejudices and their flaws to the beating heart inside them; we will know them in a way that we do not and cannot know many of the people we encounter on the street every day; and that in doing so, our own capacity for compassion will be stretched.

In WE ARE CALLED TO RISE, a story told in four seemingly unconnected voices, Laura McBride succeeds brilliantly in this charge, and for that reason, I choose it as one of the finest books of the year. I was captivated by Avis, the aging woman whose family has been decimated by heartbreak of various kinds, by Luis, the traumatized war veteran, and by Roberta, the child advocate who is facing her greatest challenge, but it the eight-year-old narrator who owns this novel. The son of Albanian immigrants seeking an increasingly elusive American dream by operating an ice-cream truck in the desert outside Las Vegas, Bashkim etches his story on our hearts in a pitch-perfect voice that is at once vulnerable, innocent, and sharply observant, giving us a fresh view of the city of sparkling visions and tarnished hopes in the process.

Of course, the danger of creating such a luminous character in a narrative seen from four perspectives is that the reader will lose interest when the story pivots away from him. But Avis, Luis and Roberta are compelling enough to more than hold their own. Together, they drive an intricately constructed plot forward to the moment of intersection that will challenge them all–and ultimately, the reader, to rise.

About We Are Called to Rise and Laura McBride

Find We Are Called to Rise on Goodreads or you can purchase it from Amazon on Paperback, Amazon on Kindle or Barnes & Noble.

Find more about Laura McBride: on her website / on Facebook / on Twitter

About Patry Francis


Patry Francis is a three time nominee for the Pushcart Prize, and has twice been the recipient of a fellowship from Massachusetts Cultural Council. Her first novel, The Liar’s Diary, has been translated into seven languages and was recently optioned for film. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.

Visit Patry on her website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


Patry’s newest book, Orphans of Race Point, is on my Top Ten Books to Read for Fall. A dramatic novel about two orphans who are brought together by a traumatic event, their quest for truth and the friendship that evolves. The Book Wheel called “so stunning it will leave you staggering with emotion.”

Find out more about the Orphans at Race Point on Goodreads or purchase the paperback on Amazon, the Kindle version on Amazon or on Barnes & Noble.


Thanks Alison at the Book Wheel for inviting me to be a part of this fantastic event bringing authors and their favorite books to us.

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  1. What a surprise to find this review in my Google Alerts this morning. Tanya and Patry Francis – Thank you! I am off to buy The Orphans of Race Point today =)

    And Helen, you have been lovely all along –

    1. You are very welcome Laura! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I can’t wait to read We are Called to Rise. Patry’s description of how well developed these characters are really makes me want to read it. My favorite books are the ones with strong characters that I can empathize with and know inside and out. And goodness, the way Patry wrote her review makes me want to read more of her writing too!

  2. I was so excited to see that Patti selected We Are Called to Rise. I read it earlier this year, and the story has stuck with me ever since. Of all the books I have enjoyed so far this year, this is one that I wish received more publicity (unless I am missing it) but I barely saw any reviews when it was released, and it is definitely worthy of it.

    1. I love Patry’s description of really getting into the characters heads and getting their thoughts and feelings on the page. Those books where I can really understand the characters and their motivations are the ones I enjoy the most. I think I missed your 30 authors post, I am going to have to see which book you recommended! Thanks for commenting Adria!

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