The Homecoming by Stacie Ramey
It’s been a year since John lost his girlfriend, Leah, to suicide. Living with his uncle keeps his mind from the tragedy and his screwed up family—until he gets into trouble and a judge sends him back home. With a neglectful mother and abusive brother, John’s homecoming is far from happy.
As he tries to navigate and repair the relationships he abandoned years ago, Emily, the girl next door, is the only bright spot. She’s sweet and smart and makes him think his heart may finally be healing. But tragedy isn’t far away, and John must soon face an impossible decision: save his family or save himself.
I was first introduced to Stacie Ramey with her book The Sister Pact. My thoughts on that book were – “At times, raw and painful, this book can help show why suicide isn’t a way out. It lingers and lives far beyond the individual. The family, friends and community are all affected in a deep way.” That rings very true in this book, a follow up of sorts (it can be read as a standalone, but I think reading The Sister Pact first would help ground you in the world) featuring Leah’s boyfriend John a year later.
John has finally returned to his family home after living with relatives after his mother kicked him out. He returns broken and bitter and with his mother fixating on his older brother, a probation officer he hates and a shrink he tolerates. Add a feisty little sister, a cute girl next door and a brutal lacrosse regimen, and we witness John’s new normal.
The plot of The Homecoming has a lot packed into it. Domestic violence, substance abuse, lingering pain from suicide and more. The writing of Stacie Ramey is inundated with emotion and she can make you care for a character, even when they are being awful. The pacing was spot on and the world built was very real. As I said, the emotions are strong in this book and very palpable. The characters had some weak moments, but for the most part I really connected with them.
The Homecoming is a book about difficult things. It is, at times, not an easy read due to the subject matter, but I still enjoyed it as a whole. I like Stacie Ramey’s writing style and the emotion she is able to pack into a few words. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.
Guest review contributed by 125 Pages. Laura is an addict. She reads 5-8 books a week. In addition to writing her own book reviews, she frequents other book review and blogger sites for just that little bit more.