Book Group: Home by Amanda Berriman discussion thread

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May 2018
7:10pm, 17 May 2018
23120 posts
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Hello! Writing without reading back.

I really liked this. I read a review somewhere when it came out and made a note that I wanted to read it. It reminded me (obviously) of Room, by Emma Donoghue, but also of The L-Shaped Room, by Lynne Reid Banks, that I read and loved as a teenager. Set in very different times, but dealing with similar issues.

I loved Jesika, and really liked the way the author showed us her internal thought processes, especially the losing control sequences. THe book made me think about my own parenting and responses to stress also.

I felt that the mother had the patience of a saint, and wasn't sure whether anyone could be that calm when faced with everything she had to deal with. This probably says more about me...
I'm glad it was a happy ending, as I was quite heavily invested in the characters by the end, and was really hoping that their succession of miserable luck came to an end.

I gave it a 9.
May 2018
7:16pm, 17 May 2018
23121 posts
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I've read back, and I'm relieved that people didn't hate it. Phew.

I agree about the possible superfluity of the child abuse story. I did think initially 'really? - isn't there enough to deal with here?' but I thought the way that it illuminated the children's thought processes and interactions did bring something to the story.
Aug 2018
4:16pm, 18 Aug 2018
8533 posts
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I read back first oops I forgot not to
This was often a struggle but I’m glad I got through it. I won’t be rushing to read more though it did stop me reading for pleasure somewhat.

Bits I liked:

Jesica voice and her relationship with her mum. I enjoyed all the bits with Tina and Jesica and Toby.

I’m glad it didn’t end worse than it did

The build up with Ryan rang true as did a lot of the mishearings and the way you could see the grooming and the isolation building

Not so keen:
I thought the reconciliation with Lorna and Ryan pushing Tina and running away and the death of Leon all overegged it. the bits where she complains about the bedroom tax also didn’t ring true as an overheard conversation given that Tina does not have a circle of similar mums.

And actually in a similar situation my relatives did have similar mums from pre school from local centres.

Jesica seemed to understand the concept of friendship very well for a 4 year old

So there were times when it felt a bit more forced and overblown than it needed to - that undermined some of the misery of being trapped. Still an interesting call, thanks Linds
Aug 2018
9:32pm, 18 Aug 2018
24169 posts
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I think I'm inclined to agree. Sometimes it felt like it was trying to hard when it didn't need to.

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