Friday, 28 December 2018

Home - Amanda Berriman


Meet Jesika, aged four and a half. The most extraordinary narrator of 2018.
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.


What did I think?

As the narrator of Home is a young child, it took me a little while to get used to Amanda Berriman's writing style.  As well as words being spelled as you say them, Jesika's feelings are described with such heartbreaking simplicity that she instantly found a place in my heart.

Amanda Berriman has done a remarkable thing; to be able to view the world through the eyes of a young child and to share that view with the reader so that we feel as if we are actually looking through Jesika's eyes.  My heart clenched with both joy and sorrow as I felt every single emotion with Jesika.  I cared for the characters so much that I worried for Jesika's mum, Tina, and feared for the health of Jesika's baby brother, Toby.

When Jesika goes to nursery and makes friends with Paige, I dreaded reading what I feared was coming next.  Paige is a troubled little girl, often silent and moody, who has been told to keep a secret but she eventually lets Jesika into her world.  I held my breath as the scenes played out to expose the secret that Paige, or any child, should never have to keep.

Home is an emotion filled book with some dark scenes that are written with care and subtlety.  Seeing an adult world through a child's eyes is quite an eye-opener and although I envied the simplicity of trust and honesty in Jesika's world, seeing how this trust can be exploited was completely heartbreaking.

Home is an absolutely heartbreaking, emotional debut that will invite Jesika into the heart of every single reader.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


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