Still the Night Call
by Joshua Senter
Roubidoux Press

"You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? You’ve lain twisted in your sheets, choking for air, arguing with the Night Call, begging it to get of your chest and out of your ear, to let you sleep."

In this chilling novel, readers follow Calem Dewayne Honeycutt, a young dairy farmer staring down his last day on his family's southern Missouri farm. As Calem's reflections document his family's hardships, his secrets unravel, and readers realize that he is more than the simple farm kid that most people think he is. Often alone with only his work for company, Calem begins thinking, challenging what he's been taught and what he knows, acknowledging the blurry lines between one's reality and their own fiction. Moreover, he begins questioning the system in which he's been raised, the ethics and moralities society imposes on him. As the last day's countdown winds onward around the clock, readers themselves begin to wonder just what the Night Call truly is and from where it actually hails.

This book's power lies in its relevance and its authenticity. It is written in the first-person point of view and features a Midwestern accent, which shapes Calem's character. More importantly, particularly through the character of Calem's father, the book addresses the financial hardships and lack of respect and support farmers all across the globe face as they work to feed the world's population. Calem's father addresses the urban versus rural conflict permeating modern society when he states, "'Some yahoo is gonna move in there, clean cut all them old trees, and use 'em for firewood.'" At times, the dialogue and Calem's reflections bear a supernatural feel, one that leaves readers thinking of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village as the protagonist reflects, "Sometimes, I feel like we'll be eat up by everything happening just beyond the treeline." Powerful and poignant, this book is sure to keep readers engaged from beginning to end, and it will challenge them to think about the Night Call creeping into their own lives.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

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