Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke

My Review

Night Bird Calling is a very powerful story by Cathy Gohlke that touches on sensitive topics. Lilliana’s mother has past away and had asked Lilliana to return a ring to Aunt Hyacinth. Following the funeral she overhears her husband and her father scheming ways for her husband to divorce her. So she left with just the clothes she was wearing and money given for her father and went to Aunt Hyacinth’s home. There is is finally able to get away from the abuse she has endured from her father and husband. They are able to make drastic repair to Aunt Hyacinth’s home and make a library of the books she has.

Meanwhile she learns so much about the people in the community of No Creek. She learns who to stay away from to avoid gossip and the men to avoid who are dangerous. But she also learn who she can safely turn to for help, regardless of their color and what could happen if she associated with them.

This is such a powerful story. It tackles tough topics such as abuse, alcoholism, discrimination and rape. The also tells a story of the strong faith and strength Lilliana’s aunt and new friend have. And it tells a story of helping others and moving forward. It is so well written it is easy to imagine the fear Lilliana must have lived with. I could also easily envision the progress of cleaning the gardens and redecorating the home.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from Tyndale House Publishing through NetGalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Book

From award-winning author Cathy Gohlke, whose novels have been called “haunting” (Library Journal on Saving Amelie) and “page-turning” (Francine Rivers on Secrets She Kept), comes a historical fiction story of courage and transformation set in rural Appalachia on the eve of WWII.
When Lilliana Swope’s beloved mother dies, Lilliana gathers her last ounce of courage and flees her abusive husband for the home of her only living relative in the foothills of No Creek, North Carolina. Though Hyacinth Belvidere hasn’t seen Lilliana since she was five, she offers her cherished great-niece a safe harbor. Their joyful reunion inspires plans to revive Aunt Hyacinth’s estate and open a public library where everyone is welcome, no matter the color of their skin.

Slowly Lilliana finds revival and friendship in No Creek—with precocious eleven-year-old Celia Percy, with kindhearted Reverend Jesse Willard, and with Ruby Lynne Wishon, a young woman whose secrets could destroy both them and the town. When the plans for the library also incite the wrath of the Klan, the dangers of Lilliana’s past and present threaten to topple her before she’s learned to stand.

With war brewing for the nation and for her newfound community, Lilliana must overcome a hard truth voiced by her young friend Celia: Wishing comes easy. Change don’t.

About the Author

Cathy Gohlke is the three-time Christy Award-winning author of the critically acclaimed novels The Medallion, Until We Find Home, Secrets She Kept (winner of the 2016 Carol and INSPY Awards), Saving Amelie (winner of the 2015 INSPY Award), Band of Sisters, Promise Me This (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012), William Henry Is a Fine Name, and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires (listed by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2008), which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award.

Cathy writes novels steeped with inspirational lessons from history. Her stories reveal how people break the chains that bind them and triumph over adversity through faith.
When not traveling to historic sites for research, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, divide their time between Northern Virginia and the Jersey Shore, enjoying time with their grown children and grandchildren.

Visit her website at and on Facebook at CathyGohlkeBooks.

Where to Purchase

2 thoughts on “Night Bird Calling by Cathy Gohlke

  1. Cathy Gohlke

    I’m so glad you enjoyed Night Bird Calling and thank you for this wonderful review! It was truly a legacy book for me to write and a blessing to share with readers.

    Liked by 1 person

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