Thursday, June 13, 2019

Review for This Is Home by Lisa Duffy

Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Atria Books

From the author of book club favorite The Salt House comes a deeply affecting novel about a teenage girl finding her voice and the military wife who moves in downstairs, united in their search for the true meaning of home. 

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. 

My Thoughts…

The connections between these characters was surprising, amazing, and perfect.  Every person in this book is connected to the others.  They are family members, community members, housemates, brothers, fathers, daughters, and sisters.   They protect, they push, and they love with their whole hearts.     I loved how connected they were and how they stood together no matter what was happening.   

Libby is the perfect teenager.   She grew up mostly without a mother but had her aunts and her father to give her the love she needed to thrive and grow.  When Quinn moves into the apartment below them, she brings a relationship that Libby didn’t know she was missing.    It wasn’t easy, it wasn’t quick but it was real.   She became a friend, a confidant, and a woman in Libby’s life that was there by choice not just because she is family.  

Lisa Duffy wrote a book that handles so many tough subjects, PTSD being a big one, but she does it with care and respect.    She shows how a disease can affect the person and those who love them.   There is so much involved with the characters, their lives, and the lives they share.   I couldn’t put this book down.  

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