Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 30 books. 77% done!

20 Books of Summer 2023

My Progress:

17 / 20 books. 85% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (2)
- Alaska (1)
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (12)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (3)
- Delaware (1)
- Florida (1)
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii (1)
- Idaho (1)
- Illinois
- Indiana (1)
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky (1)
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (3)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (3)
- Michigan (2)
- Minnesota (1)
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri (1)
- Montana (1)
- Nebraska (1)
- Nevada
- New Hampshire (1)
- New Jersey
- New Mexico (1)
- New York (11)
- North Carolina (4)
- North Dakota (1)
- Ohio (3)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania (1)
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee (1)
- Texas (4)
- Utah (1)
- Vermont (3)
- Virginia
- Washington (3)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (2)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.* (1)


- Australia (3)
- Canada (7)
- Chile (1)
- England (20)
- France (2)
- Ireland (2)
-Italy (1)
- Scotland (2)
- South Korea (1)
- Sweden (1)
- The Netherlands (2)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

42 / 51 states. 82% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

25 / 25 books. 100% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

48 / 50 books. 96% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

49 / 52 books. 94% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

46 / 52 books. 88% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

34 / 40 books. 85% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

29 / 40 books. 73% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

13 / 25 books. 52% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

20 / 25 books. 80% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

87 / 109 books. 80% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Sophomore Novel Not As Dynamic or Engaging As Debut

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

There's not a lot of hope on the grim streets of Arlington, Texas, for the women society has cast away.  Addicts, prostitutes, unwed mothers, and others of their ilk have nowhere to go for protection or to get a hand up—at least not without selling their bodies and souls in exchange.  

When Mattie B. Corder, a penniless single mom with a sick toddler, hears about the Berachah Industrial Home for the Redemption of Erring Girls, it seems like a trick.  Could there really be a refuge for women like her, a cost-free place that would shelter her and help her learn a trade, all while allowing her to keep her child?  When Mattie makes her way there, she's shocked to discover the home is exactly what it says it is.  Which isn't to say it's paradise.  Still, there she finds friendship, a purpose, and hope for her future.  As she gets to know Lizzie Bates, a former heroin addict and prostitute, the two women form an unbreakable bond that will see them through the tough times ahead.

Over 100 years later, librarian Cate Sutton stumbles across a mysterious cemetery.  When she learns that the graveyard contains the bones of former residents of a home for troubled women, her curiosity is piqued.  Inexplicably drawn to the place and its fascinating history, Cate becomes obsessed with finding out more.  Doing so may just help her come to terms with her own rocky past and find redemption, just like the Berachah women of so long ago.

Since Julie Kibler's debut novel, Calling Me Home, was one of my favorite reads of 2013, I jumped for joy when I heard the author would finally be publishing a second book.  The premise behind Home for Erring and Outcast Girls (available July 30, 2019) sounded appealing, so I eagerly downloaded an ARC from NetGalley.  Unfortunately, Kibler's sophomore attempt didn't enthrall me quite like her first book did.  While I appreciated the new novel's themes of kindness, compassion, second chances, and sisterhood, the story dragged for me.  It's lengthy, meandering, and peppered with prose that just isn't very dynamic.  The characters are sympathetic, but not fleshed out well enough to feel real.  In the end, then, I had a hard time getting through Home for Erring and Outcast Girls.  I wanted to love it, especially since I adored Kibler's debut so much; overall, though, this was just an okay read for me.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't think of anything.  Can you?)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (no F-bombs), violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Home for Erring and Outcast Girls from the generous folks at Crown (a division of Penguin Random House) via those at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. Too bad this was disappointing. The premise is a good one and seems like it had lots of possibility.

  2. That is too bad. This one sounded like it could have been so good.

  3. Ha! In sports, they call this the "sophomore jinx" because it happens so often.

  4. I hate when a fantastic premise just isn't executed as well as it could have been. I love the sound of it and the kindness but the meandering would get annoying. I am going to look up her first book though.


Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig


Hooked: A Memoir in Crafts by Sutton Foster

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive