Book Review: Almost Home

21 Mar

With America’s entrance into the Second World War, the town of Blackberry Springs, Alabama, has exploded virtually overnight. Workers from all over are coming south for jobs in Uncle Sam’s munitions plants — and they’re bringing their pasts with them, right into Dolly Chandler’s grand but fading family home turned boardinghouse.

An estranged young couple from the Midwest, unemployed professors from Chicago, a widower from Mississippi, a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war — they’re all hoping Dolly’s house will help them find their way back to the lives they left behind. But the house has a past of its own.

When tragedy strikes, Dolly’s only hope will be the circle of friends under her roof and their ability to discover the truth about what happened to a young bride who lived there a century before.

Award-winning and bestselling author Valerie Fraser Luesse breathes life into a cast of unforgettable characters in this complex and compassionate story of hurt and healing.


Valerie Fraser Luesse is the bestselling author of Missing Isaac and is an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently a senior travel editor. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana’s Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana won the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.


My Impressions:

Oh. My. Goodness! I loved, loved Almost Home by Valerie Fraser Luesse! My book club read her debut novel, Missing Isaac, last year and were bowled over by the wonderful new voice of this author. We are set to discuss Almost Home in a few months, and I cannot wait to hear everyone’s reactions. This novel made me smile from start to finish (with a few tears sprinkled throughout). This one is a highly recommended read!

The “loop”, a road off a highway in middle of nowhere Alabama, is the setting for Almost Home. More specifically, Dolly’s 100 year old home that has been lovingly opened to boarders to pay the taxes as well as offer respite to hurting souls. WWII is still being fought across the ocean, and the people residing in the home come from across the country to work at the munitions plant. Their stories are varied and the same — life has dealt them a blow that leaves them in despair. The cast of characters is strong, and Luesse gives each one a distinctive voice. I came to love them as old friends and was reluctant to leave them when the last page was turned. The author did oblige my curiosity of where there lives will lead with a wonderful epilogue. The novel has a faith foundation that is consistent, but never preachy. And there is a sense of wonder and even magic in the turn of events that kept this reader looking for what would happen next. The novel is set in 1944 in rural Alabama, but the characters struggles are relevant today. I loved how the author captured the era so well, yet the stories and the people are consistent with our present-day world. A century-old legend captures the boarders’ (and the reader’s) imagination adding a sense of adventure and mystery to the novel.

Full of love, hope, and magic, Almost Home is perfect for those looking for a story that will whisk them away and bring them back feeling good!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Almost Home”

  1. carhicks March 22, 2019 at 7:58 pm #

    Wonderful review. This book sounds really good.

    • rbclibrary March 23, 2019 at 8:56 am #

      Thanks! It is really is!

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