In South Carolina in 1924, hardship is commonplace as the region is still recovering from the infamous boll weevil infestation that devastated the land and the economy. Gertrude, a mother of four, must make an unconscionable decision to save her daughters from starvation or die at the hands of an abusive husband. Retta is navigating a harsh world as a first-generation freed slave, still employed by the Coles, influential plantation proprietors who once owned her family. Annie is the matriarch of the Coles family and owner of the Branchville Sewing Circle, a business left to her by her father when he passed. She must come to terms with the terrible truth that robbed her of her young son’s life and has ripped her two daughters from her side. These three women seemingly have nothing in common, yet they unite to stand up to the terrible injustices that have long plagued the small town. As they come to help each other, they find strength in the bond that ties women together.
Call Your Daughter Home is a wrenching and heartfelt debut novel about three generations of women and the struggles they face in the South in the early part of the 20th century. Spera’s lyrical and evocative prose and sense of place comes from her long career as a television and film producer, and her deep love for “the home of her heart,” the Lowcountry of South Carolina.