Today’s team review is from Francis, she blogs at http://disappearinginplainsight.com/
Francis has been reading Turning For Home by Caren J Werlinger
Reviewed by Francis Guenette
Turning for Home by Caren J. Welinger
A story that shouldn’t be missed – humanizing – filled with empathy, courage and hope.
Every now and then, one gets the opportunity to sit, undisturbed for the hours it takes to read an entire novel, to enter fully into the world created by the author. I am very grateful that this chance happened for me when Turning for Home by Caren Welinger came to hand.
The novel’s main character, Jules, is a successful, professional woman. She’s in a fulfilling relationship with Kelli, she has a rewarding career. Going back to the town she grew up in to attend her grandfather’s funeral triggers memories from the past that Jules’ has never been able to face. Echoes reverberate into every area of her life. The scene is set. The reader knows long before Jules does that she now faces a crucial choice – deal with the past or be doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over.
The author masterfully weaves the story of Jules’ growing up years, living with her grandparents in the small town of Aldie and her friendship with Hobie – the boy next door who is every bit as much a misfit as Jules, into her current life. We go backwards and forwards with Jules’ and never once do the transitions become tiresome or the text confusing. In this type of a book, readers can often find themselves longing to get back to one or the other story. But in this case, the author makes both narratives so gripping, the reader wants to be exactly where she dictates.
This is a coming of age story that makes one ache with memories of the painful paths many have walked from adolescence to adulthood. But the struggle for acceptance faced by Jules and Hobie and Ronnie, a teenage girl who reaches out in desperation to Jules, are intensified by issues related to sexual orientation.
Ultimately, Turning for Home, opens an insight into the twists and turns of relationships – with parents and grandparents, friends, lovers, and those we mentor along the way. The story provides a roadmap for finding a way back to home – the place where the answers to how we have become the people we are hidden as surely and as carefully as Hobie hid his stories. Just waiting to be discovered.