• Calumet

  • By: Ali Vali
  • Narrated by: Lula Larkin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (122 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Jaxon Lavigne left the small town of Chackbay, Louisiana, to escape disapproving parents and has never looked back. She’s now a popular English lit professor. Life is good. Really. The only problem is the invite in her mailbox. Who in their right mind has a 15-year high school reunion?

Iris Long’s days are predictable. She did the safe thing and married the high school quarterback. While her life isn’t a grand love affair, it’s comfortable, and as the secretary at the local high school, she can see her daughter and son throughout the day. Her family is great, but Iris longs for the one person she can’t have. 

Jaxon comes back to town amid gossip that started 15 years earlier and never really died down. After crushing on Iris in high school, seeing her again is a welcome surprise. But it’s Iris’ daughter, Sean, whose dark hair, green eyes, and brilliant mind are startlingly like Jaxon’s own that exposes scars from small-town secrets. Jaxon has been kept in the dark by those she loves most, including Iris. But when the truth is finally revealed, will she leave for good?

©2021 Ali Vali (P)2021 Bold Strokes Books Inc
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

What listeners say about Calumet

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You Shouldn't Miss This Read!

I'm probably in the minority here, being a married hetero man. I'm an emotional guy and am drawn to the depth of feelings often described in these writings. I research my next reads and have found that LBGTQ fiction is often the best out there. When I came across Calumet, it was the well-written reviews that sparked my interest. The book didn't disappoint! The characters are well developed; I loved their flaws, hopes, dreams, and successes. Ms. Vali did a superb job of bringing these personalities to life. Calumet hit home for me; I, too, went on a similar journey as Jax.

I found some parts hard to read because I felt the characters' pain in my heart. My wife saw me shed a tear and asked, "what's wrong?" I told her, "someone actually gets what it's like." She has been with me for 38 years and knew what I was referring to precisely. I only have one negative point, if you want to call it that. I loved Margo, but her comment about people voting for Trump was really unneeded. I've been a conservative my whole life, served 24 years in the military, and have always vocally supported the right of people to love whomever they want. Plus, I've never pushed a grandma off a cliff. So, Ms. Vali, "thank you" for the beautiful journey this book took me on! It was painful, funny, and made me nostalgic. I feel like I'm a better person for having read it. Bravo!

10 people found this helpful

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Not what I expected

This was not what I expected, so it took me a while to get on board with this. Once I did it was smooth sailing from then on. It delves into something that I think is not covered much in lesfic. But Ali does in opinion, a good job of portraying what scars are left behind after first love ends and coming out. It took me a while to warm up to Margot, but once I did I could see how good she was for Jaxon. It is worth a credit and a listen.

8 people found this helpful

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A Well Written Story,

This was one of my favorite Ali Vali books. It’s a good mix of present and past and a more unusual take on that theme. I liked it and Lula Larkin as narrator was excellent, get the book!

1 person found this helpful

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A must listen. Wow

I enjoyed everything about this book. the story the characters and the narration was awesome.

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Beautiful

Beautiful story. I was hooked 5 mins into it and cried at the end. What a twist and honestly had me worried for a bit. Lula Larkin did an amazing job

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Great Book

One of the best books I've listen to. Interesting story, well developed characters and just an all round great book

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The start of a good plot

I stopped reading it after the ridiculous meeting between Jax and Iris.
That scene was unbelievable. The author wrote the story to lead up to their meeting and then completely changed the narrative
I listened to the epilogue just to have my own closure but wish I hadn’t even read it

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Ok but probably won’t listen again.

Definitely not my favorite narrator. Very little differences between the voices and whiney at times.

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movie

This reminds me of the movie Gillery’s little secret. Jaxon was played by Annabeth Gish!! A lot of different changes, but movie was it!

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Saw the short film - love it

I saw the short film of this book before I read the book. I really enjoyed the story and I hope they can make the full movie one day. I completely understand having loved someone so much that you thought they were the one and then meeting the one to realize otherwise. It’s a different story but still good.

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  • Bennett
  • 03-07-22

Very good 2nd listen as fresh as the first time

My first book by Ali Vali and excellent performance by Lula Larkin who brought the story to life very good voice and good characterization.

Really got into this story and had to finish it in one sitting will look forward to more by this author.

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  • Unknown
  • 08-26-21

A different kind of happy ever after

What a wonderful change of pace, Ali Vali brings us a delightful story of a woman facing her past head-on after a nudge or two. Excellent narration.