Review: This is Home by Lisa Duffy

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Release date: June 11, 2019

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Libby Winters lives in Paradise, a seaside town north of Boston that rarely lives up to its name. After the death of her mother, she lives with her father, Bent, in the middle apartment of their triple decker home—Bent’s two sisters, Lucy and Desiree, live on the top floor. A former soldier turned policeman, Bent often works nights, leaving Libby under her aunts’ care. Shuffling back and forth between apartments—and the wildly different natures of her family—has Libby wishing for nothing more than a home of her very own.

Quinn Ellis is at a crossroads. When her husband John, who has served two tours in Iraq, goes missing back at home, suffering from PTSD he refuses to address, Quinn finds herself living in the first-floor apartment of the Winters house. Bent had served as her husband’s former platoon leader, a man John refers to as his brother, and despite Bent’s efforts to make her feel welcome, Quinn has yet to unpack a single box.

For Libby, the new tenant downstairs is an unwelcome guest, another body filling up her already crowded house. But soon enough, an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, when Libby and Quinn stretch and redefine their definition of family and home.

With gorgeous prose and a cast of characters that feel wholly real and lovably flawed, This Is Home is a nuanced and moving novel of finding where we belong. 

Review:

If you are looking for a beautifully written story with a ensemble cast of characters that are not only incredibly well drawn, but also wholly relatable, then look no further because This is Home was absolutely gorgeous! I’ve had The Salt House on my TBR forever and after reading this gem it won’t be lingering on my unread shelf much longer.

This is told via alternate perspectives, it flips between Libby and Quinn as Quinn moves into a new apartment where Libby lives with her family. Each woman had a strong, distinct and woefully raw voice, the type of realness that tugs on your heartstrings and also almost hurts to read about because it’s so heartbreakingly honest. Both are struggling with similar issues and find they have more in common than they first thought, they’re dealing with everything from abandonment issues to alcoholism, PTSD and just being a part of a military family in general and all of the issues that come with that. Add in an additional supporting cast of characters that are also genuine and basically leap from the page and you have magic.

Duffy shines light onto dark topics with a graceful and sensitive touch, she talks about highly important issues that should be discussed more in such a poetic and truthful way and I was captivated by the whole thing. I think anyone who has struggled in their life (and really, who hasn’t?!) can relate to this one in some way, it really is an amazing read and one that comes highly recommended by me. Would also be ideal for a book club pick, lots to unpack here and I think it would lead to some thoughtful discussions.

This is Home in three words: Raw, Beautiful and Heartfelt

Overall rating: 5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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