This review is written with thanks to Transworld and Netgalley for my copy of Home.
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.
Home is written from the perspective of four year old Jessika. This is an inventive way of writing, and I loved Jessika’s way of expressing herself. It gave me great insight into her character and her thoughts and feelings, particularly when she was scared and thinking about things that may not be obvious to an adult. I had great sympathy for Jessika in her situation and I wanted things to work out for her and her mother, Tina. This kept me reading until the very end.
Jessika is surrounded by a colourful cast of characters she considers her family and friends. I enjoyed reading her observations of Tina, Nandini and Emma in the laundrette and Ade from the Rainbow Shop. They are all keen to help Jessika and her family, but Tina finds it difficult to trust people. I found the sense of community as they tried to gain her trust incredibly heartwarming.
When Jessika meets Paige at preschool, she learns that Paige has a secret. Berriman does not leave the reader to guess what this secret is, and it’s easy to see what’s coming even in the early stages of the novel. It is uncomfortable to read at times, and even more poignant and we only have Paige’s viewpoint, but the issues are addressed sensitively and there is lots of food for thought.
Check out this extract from Home, which I posted as part of the blog tour.
Home is available from Amazon.