We Are Called to Rise

A Novel

We Are Called to Rise

“Your heart will break…then soar” (Redbook) when, far from the neon lights of the Vegas strip, three lives collide in a split-second mistake and a child’s fate hangs in the balance.

Avis thought her marriage had hit a temporary rut. But with a single confession in the middle of the night, her carefully constructed life comes undone. After escaping a tumultuous childhood and raising a son, she now faces a future without the security of the home and family she has spent decades building.

Luis only wants to make the grandmother who raised him proud. As a soldier, he was on his way to being the man she taught him to be until he woke up in Walter Reed Hospital with vague and troubling memories of how he got there. Now he must find a new way to live a life of honor.

Every day, young Bashkim looks forward to the quiet order of school and the kind instruction of his third grade teacher. His family relocated to Las Vegas after fleeing political persecution in their homeland. Now their ice cream truck provides just enough extra income to keep them afloat. With his family under constant stress, Bashkim opens his heart to his pen pal, a US soldier.

When these lives come together in a single, shocking moment, each character is called upon to rise. “You’ll be thinking about these characters long after you finish this haunting, heart-wrenching, and hopeful book” (Houston Chronicle).
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476738970 | 
  • April 2015
List Price $16.00 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for We Are Called to Rise includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Laura McBride. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Introduction

We Are Called to Rise is told in four distinct voices—an immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate, a middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son, a social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas, and a wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting—voices that come together around a tragedy changing those four lives forever. Each of the four struggles with ramifications of the choices that have led to this event, and all four discover that our lives are connected and we are responsible for one another.  

Topics & Questions for Discussion 

1. Which of the three main narrators—Bashkim, Avis, Luis, was the most effective?
 
2. The setting, Las Vegas, is so pervasive it is almost a character in its own right. Talk about how the author uses the dry desert town as a backdrop and as an integral piece of the story. Discuss the juxtaposition of glamorous c see more

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About the Author

Laura McBride
Photograph by Michelle Adams

Laura McBride

Laura McBride lives in Las Vegas and teaches composition at the College of Southern Nevada. She is the author of the novels We Are Called to Rise and ’Round Midnight.

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