Review: The Call
The Call by Yannick Murphy
Publisher: Harper Perennial
From the cover:
The daily rhythm of a veterinarian’s family in rural New England is shaken when a hunting accident leaves their eldest son in a coma. With the lives of his loved ones unhinged, the veterinarian struggles to maintain stability while searching for the man responsible. But in the midst of their great trial an unexpected visitor arrives, requesting a favor that will have profound consequences—testing a loving father’s patience, humor, and resolve and forcing husband and wife to come to terms with what “family” truly means.
The Call by Yannick Murphy is different from most of the books I’ve read this year, but it’s one that I won’t soon forget. I first picked up the book because it was about a veterinarian and I’m a sucker for books with characters involved in the medical field. But I was happily surprised to see that it was more than just about a vet and the calls he made. It was about family and love, community and forgiveness, and so much more.
I admit I was a little skeptical towards the book when I first started it because of the format of the book. The Call is like a personal journal kept by David, the veterinarian, in which he recorded his daily life and the animals he treated.
For example, the book opened up with the following passage:
Call: A cow with her dead calf half-born.
Action: Put on boots and pulled dead calf out while standing in a field full of mud.
Result: Hind legs tore off from dead calf while I pulled. Head, forelegs, and torso are still inside mother.
Thoughts on drive home while passing red and gold leaves on Maple trees: Is there a nicer place to live?
What the children said to me when I got home: Hi, Pop.
What the wife cooked for dinner: Something mixed up.
The beginning was so random and scattered that I wasn’t sure if a story could emerge from David’s random thoughts and yet the more I read the more immersed I became in the book to the point where I just couldn’t stop reading it. The Call is a short book at only a little more than 200 pages so it was easy to finish in one sitting, but despite its small size, it packs a powerful punch.
Looking back on the book I can’t believe how moving and heartwarming the book was. Some of the points expressed by the characters in the book were so deep and profound. The Call is a book that I would highly recommend to everyone. I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying this book. I know the premise of the book sounds depressing (or at least that’s what my friend said when she read the synopsis of the book on the back of the book), but it was such a wonderful read that I think you should give it a chance.