We Are Called to Rise is a intricately woven story with several overlapping plots that delve into deep themes such as the trauma of war, broken families, failed relationships, second chances, the hope of rehabilitation, moving on after suffering, and more. Basically, the author explores how people are able to put one foot in front of the other when life deals excruciating circumstances.
It’s about regular people facing tough choices and doing the right thing. In that way Laura McBrides’s novel, We Are Called to Rise is positive and uplifting.
Las Vegas novelist —who was —wastes no time introducing a gun in her debut, We Are Called to Rise (Simon & Schuster, $25). It’s right there in the first chapter, in the lingerie drawer of Avis Gisselberg. Avis is 53, a Las Vegas native, recently devastated by the news that her husband, Jim, is having an affair after three decades of marriage. Avis is no stranger to bad news. Growing up in weekly motels with an unstable mother, she’s a firsthand witness to domestic violence. Avis has endured more than her share of personal tragedy, and now she’s worried about the erratic behavior of her son Nathan, a war veteran turned police officer who takes out his anger issues on his wife, Lauren.
As it turns out, there are more guns in McBride’s arsenal. Violence and emotional trauma are everywhere in We Are Called To Rise, and Avis’ story is delicately intertwined with three other main characters: Bashkim Ahmeti, a bright, sensitive third-grader from Albania; Luis Rodriguez-Reyes, a suicidal soldier who lost his grip on sanity surveying for IEDs in the Iraqi desert; and Roberta Weiss, a compassionate lawyer who volunteers as a court-appointed special advocate for neglected and abused children.