Author: Valeria Fraser Luesse
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Roman
Set in rural Blackberry Springs, Alabama, during World War II, Almost Home takes a look at how people have to take time to get to know themselves before they can connect with others.
Blackberry Springs is home to a variety of transplants looking for work after the war sunk the United States into tough economic times, and Dolly Chandler’s large family home-turned-boarding house is full to the brim. A young married couple from the Midwest is there after selling the farm and needing a new income; a young war hero is there to set himself right after the war’s ravages on his mind; a married couple of college professors is there because nobody is attending school. Along with a few locals, the newcomers manage to forge friendships and even some romance out of the destruction that the war inflicted on their lives. Dolly and her husband act as guardians and even parents to some of these people who really need someone to rely on, and in the meantime, these visitors help Dolly reconnect with her family’s heritage through her home’s secrets.
This is one of those books that, just like the setting, is a warm, lazy summer day with a cold drink at the ready. It’s no trouble at all to read the book and soak it all in, but by the end, you feel refreshed and full. The characters all have flaws that, while sometimes obvious how they will be fixed, still show a human side that makes them likeable. I can’t say the storyline is anything new or unique, but it is a warm, fun reflection on a time when people helped others who were often in the same dire straits that they were. Old-fashioned and charming, Almost Home truly made me feel welcome.
I loved this book for its message and characters, and the subplot of adventure woven through tied it all together. Some of it may not be entirely plausible, but it makes for a fun read that kept me entertained from the last page to the first. Pick up this book for a fun summer read or a quiet weekend in. It’s a sweet story sure to please.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.