I have never read a book like Home by Amanda Berriman. It’s pure, captivating, heart-rending but providing an important message with an extraordinary voice. A must read.
Jesika is four. She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a thing or two about life. She knows that their flat is high up and that the stairs smell. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the wall or touch the broken window. And she knows that she loves her mummy and Toby very much.
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.
I wouldn’t fault anything in Home
Little things would set me off crying (like writing this review), and it’s because of the tone of voice and how pure everything was. It’s written in first person from Jesika’s point of view, so there’s lots of rush talking without punctuation and spelling mistakes (often written how the word sounds) – I think this is what made the book really, really get to me.
I read quite a few of these books which deal with tough subjects, but this one took me on a whole different journey; there was always something to worry about with the protagonists from the get-go. Because of Berriman’s writing, I wanted to jump inside the book and be 97% of the character’s friends, give lots of cuddles and help.
The story itself was heart-breaking and you were constantly reminded that this is a child who does not completely understand, whether it’s about something small or much more sinister.
It was interesting to see things from a child’s perspective, from over-hearing conversations or just a train of thought. I wouldn’t fault anything in Home.
Whilst I was finding myself losing track of time to read and stealing chapters when I can, I found it very challenging to read because of the content. I was crying lots, and a few times I had to stop myself reading because it just broke my heart.
I went into this book expecting a thriller (based on the synopsis), and whilst I was 110% not disappointed, I wish I had some warning about what was going to come. I also wasn’t expecting to hear Jesika’s voice the whole way through at such a young age, but this made it unique for me.
Home is pure, heartbreaking and captivating. Berriman has produced a story and message that needs to be heard in a distinctive but exemplary way.
A roller-coaster read for your emotions. I’ll be thinking about Jesika and Tina for a long time.
Trigger warnings: this book does contain upsetting themes, but it will provide spoilers for the book. Please contact me through the Home Page if you would like some more information about Home.
Home, Amanda Berriman, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Book Depository
Publisher: Transworld Publishers