Monday, March 6, 2023

Homecoming by Kate Morton

Adelaide Hills, Christmas Eve, 1959: At the end of a scorching hot day, beside a creek on the grounds of the 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.

Nora has always been a vibrant and strong presence: decisive, encouraging, young despite her years. When Jess visits her in the hospital, she is alarmed to find her grandmother frail and confused. It’s even more alarming to hear from Nora's housekeeper that Nora had been distracted in the weeks before her accident and had fallen on the steps to the attic—the one place Jess was forbidden from playing in when she was small.

At loose ends in Nora's house, Jess does some digging of her own. 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 resolved satisfactorily. 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. Above all, it is a beguiling and immensely satisfying novel from one of the finest writers working today.

Paperback, 560 pages
Expected publication April 11, 2023
by Simon & Schuster CA
4.5/5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed diving into Kate Martin's latest book, Homecoming. While I wasn't a huge fan of her previous work, The Clockmaker's Daughter, this highly anticipated release of 2023 did not disappoint. At 560 pages with smaller than normal font, this book is not for the faint of heart, but it is certainly worth the commitment.

Told from multiple points of view and through various time periods, Kate Morton has once again woven a complex story filled with mystery, likeable characters, and a secluded mansion. This was definitely a slow burn read, not just because of its size, but because Morton took the time to develop her characters and create an atmosphere that has me itching to visit Australia.

Homecoming is a story of loss, not just in the present day, but also in 1959 following the deaths of a young family. It is a story of the mystery surrounding not just what took place 60 years ago, but the repercussions that followed through the decades.  It is a multi-generational story that is detail-oriented, with Morton's trademark writing style that kept me captivated along with plenty of red herrings scattered throughout. Morton has a great knack for weaving memories within chapters flawlessly.

The only reason I am giving this book 4 1/2 stars is that it could have been a little bit shorter. However, the gorgeous cover and the print ARC from Simon & Schuster CA made up for it. 

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