Author: Amanda Berriman
Publisher: Random House UK
Jesika is four and a half.
She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.
She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.
Wow, what an emotional, but at times heartwarming, read! Told from the perspective of four year old Jesika, with everything seen through her eyes and conveyed in her lovely and oh-so-innocent voice, (pronunciation mistakes and all!), you really get a feel for what life in a disadvantaged family must be like for a young girl who doesn’t understand how hard things really are for her mum.
There were times when I found Home really difficult to read, as often you know what’s coming with a sense of building dread. I felt myself wanting to shout through the book at her to warn her. Saying that, nothing in this book is overly dramatic or ridiculous; it’s worryingly realistic. You can imagine only too well it happening – things which I won’t give away here – and the idea of a family struggling and falling through the cracks when it comes to housing and support is all-too common in today’s society.
Home for me was a real mix of emotions, but regardless of how I was feeling, I didn’t want to stop reading…even though I often did want to stop reading! See, a mix?! It’s an absorbing, heartbreaking, and quite original read. It will certainly stay on my mind for a long time.
Many thanks to Random House UK for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
Home is released on 8 February!