Review

Call My Name. Jenni Ogden

Call My Name

Published: Sea Dragon Press
Date: 15th September 2022
Source: Author via NetGalley

Her mother dead from a drug overdose, thirteen-year-old Olivia is rescued by Cathie Tulloch, her mother’s friend throughout the years they were held captive in Japanese prison camps in Sumatra in WWII. Welcomed into the Tulloch’s remote family home in the Australian tropics, introverted Olivia is claimed by dramatic, generous, controlling Cassandra Tulloch as her sister and best friend. Moving to the UK at 18, Olivia finds her independence — and partner Ben. But in 1970, after five years away, she is homesick, and ready to fulfill her long-held dream: to make a family of her own. But when the unimaginable happens, destroying the friendship with Cassandra that has been her bedrock for so long, Olivia tells herself that she doesn’t deserve a family, nor a place to call home.  

Call My Name by Jenni Ogden is about two women and their journey through a large part of their lives. The story is told from Olivia’s point of view.

What did I like?

  • The settings of the UK and Australia. There is a great sense of place.
  • The complicated back story of Olivia’s mother and the relationship she had with Cathie – the woman who welcomes Olivia to her home, from New Zealand to Australia.
  • I liked Cathie and her husband William who together made a loving and generous family. They give Olivia so much, even when she doesn’t realise it.
  • I liked the men in this book, to me they were the heroes! I know! I know! This is about two women and their relationship and choices! But it was the men I really liked. Ben and Sebastian made patient, forgiving and understanding husbands.
  • The historical setting of the events that take place are important and cover a time when the events that take place largely were affected by laws or lack of laws.

What did I not love?

  • There are so many issues covered in this story. Each important and worth exploring in their own right. But my goodness, how can there be so many for a couple and their extended family.  There are losses, grief, secrets and you begin to wonder what next!
  • Olivia and Cassandra. The two women. I didn’t really warm to them. They do have a friendship but its unbalanced. As I said, they had great husbands who loved them. I guess that counts for them!
  • The book ends on a sad note and while there was some small resolution in the two women’s relationship – I am not so sure!

Yes heaps of issues and if I listed them all here it would really give away the whole plot, so if you were to read this I’d say go in but be warned, you could be triggered.

3 thoughts on “Call My Name. Jenni Ogden”

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