Book Review: Lucy Come Home

18 Jun

Fifteen-year-old Cindy worked long days beside her migrant worker family in Michigan’s sugar beet fields in the early 1940s — the “war years” — until she met a dashing young man from a traveling carnival, bringing some joy and fun into her hard-scrabble life. But a tragic twist of fate — and a dead field boss– sent the two young people on the run, leaving behind family and everything she’d ever known.

Lucy Tucker, the crotchety old bag lady from the popular Yada Yada House of Hope series, is a veteran of Chicago streets and not about to give up her independence, even as she approaches her 80th birthday. 

Until, that is, a young displaced woman with her gentle aging mother and a dog named Dandy seem to need her — unsettling the secretive Lucy, who doesn’t let anyone get too close. But just when it seems her past is catching up with her to bring her in out of the cold… Lucy disappears again. How these two tales intersect and intertwine between past and present gradually shines light into the dark corners of Lucy’s murky past. But… why won’t Lucy come home?

Dave and Neta Jackson are award-winning authors living in the Chicago area where their parallel novels from the Yada Yada House of Hope and Harry Bentley series are set.

As a husband/wife writing team, Dave and Neta Jackson are enthusiastic about books, kids, walking with God, gospel music, and each other! Together they are the authors or coauthors of over 100 books.

Visit for more info.

My Impressions:

The homeless are all around us.  Maybe you haven’t noticed them or don’t want to make eye contact with them for fear you will be accosted.  Or maybe you wonder just how someone ends up on the streets — lost job, lost family, lost dreams.  Dave and Neta Jackson have taken a character from their House of Hope series and have created a beautiful story from a not so beautiful subject. But don’t look the other way.  Lucy’s story will have you thinking about your own life and the lives of those you may encounter just around the corner.

Cindy Tucker has been traveling with her family from one farm to another since they lost their farm in Arkansas to the Dust Bowl.  They go from one shack and back-breaking job to another without much hope for the future, just a means for survival.  But 15 year old Cindy has dreams to become like Myrna Loy, her idol from the movies and maybe a relationship with a young carny worker, Bo. But nothing good seems to happen to the Tuckers, and Lucy ends up on the run with Bo, hopping trains and avoiding the police.  Sixty years later, Cindy, now Lucy, has been living on the streets of Chicago since the end of WWII.  Just what happened to the young girl to bring her to become the cantankerous bag lady who sometimes stays at Manna House?

Two stories run simultaneously in Lucy Come Home —  the story of loss of hope and dreams for young Lucy and the hardscrabble life of the now 80 year old Lucy.  Guilt and shame keep Lucy from responding to God’s call.  But true to His nature, God persistently pursues Lucy, never giving up even though she turns away time and again.  I found Lucy’s story heart-breaking as well as uplifting.  At one point in the story, Lucy realizes how darkness has kept her from hope, truth and life.  It is this way for so many people in the world — those with homes and families and those without.  Yet it is never too late for someone to come home to God.

I really liked Lucy Come Home.  It is an unusual story told in both 3rd and 1st person perspectives.  And those voices work together to bring to light a life lived with pain and sorrow, but never lost to redemption.  So I suggest you don’t look away, but dive into Lucy’s story.


To read what other reviewers have to say, click HERE.

(I received Lucy Come Home in conjunction with LitFuse.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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