Wednesday 10 May 2023

Homecoming - Kate Morton

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959. At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek in the grounds of a grand and mysterious mansion, a local delivery man makes a terrible discovery. A police investigation is called and the small town of Tambilla becomes embroiled in one of the most shocking and perplexing murder cases in the history of South Australia.

Sixty years later, Jess is a journalist in search of a story. Having lived and worked in London for almost twenty years, she now finds herself laid off from her full-time job and struggling to make ends meet. A phone call out of nowhere summons her back to Sydney, where her beloved grandmother, Nora, who raised Jess when her mother could not, has suffered a fall and been raced to the hospital.

At a loose end in Nora's house, Jess does some digging into her past. In Nora's bedroom, she discovers a true crime book, chronicling the police investigation into a long-buried tragedy: the Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959. It is only when Jess skims through the book that she finds a shocking connection between her own family and this once-infamous crime – a crime that has never been truly solved. And for a journalist without a story, a cold case might be the best distraction she can find . . .

An epic novel that spans generations, Homecoming asks what we would do for those we love, and how we protect the lies we tell. It explores the power of motherhood, the corrosive effects of tightly held secrets, and the healing nature of truth.

What did I think?

At 628 pages long, you can see why Homecoming is described as an epic novel and although it might be weighty to hold, it is easy to read.  With a dual timeline set in 1959 and 2018, this is the story of the Turner family and the devastating event in their family history that Nora Turner-Bridges has done her utmost to protect her granddaughter Jess from.

In 1959, the residents of the small town of Tambilla in Australia are preparing for Christmas but this is a Christmas Eve that they will never forget.  Nobody knows what happened to the Turner family that day and it is a mystery that gripped the nation.  Fast forward to 2018 and Jess had no idea that this happened to her ancestors until she found a book about the tragedy.   Through reading excerpts from the book, we, along with Jess, relive that fateful Christmas Eve in 1959.

This really is an epic novel and I think it's absolute genius to have a book within a book to relive the timeline in the past.  I love family secrets so I very quickly found myself immersed in the story and the only reason I had to put the book down was from my arms aching.  I loved the theme of 'home' running throughout the novel, it really made me think about what 'home' means to me.

Beautifully written with a very intriguing mystery at its heart, Homecoming is a compelling novel that swept me away to Australia and I thoroughly enjoyed my virtual visit.  I thought I had it all worked out but this is a multi-faceted mystery with so much to be uncovered.  

I received a beautiful hardback copy for the Tandem Collective readalong and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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