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Home Paperback – 21 Feb 2019
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"Powerfully brings home the fears of living life on the edge...a narrative rich in intimacy and immediacy...Berriman is a former primary school teacher, and her acute awareness of the child’s world, as well as the spot-on grinding details of poverty make this book wholly, painfully authentic...challenging but always compelling; for the entirety of the second half, I was desperate to rescue Jesika and her family.
Comparisons to Room by Emma Donoghue are inevitable; however, while Room is a novel about one sick individual robbing a family of hope and dignity, Home tells the far more terrifying story of inequality in our society.." (Kerry Hudson Guardian)
"Packs a huge emotional punch…heartbreaking ... Jesika is entirely engaging, sweet, emphatic and cross as she tries to interpret the grisliness of the grown-up world." (Daily Mail)
"I read this in one sitting and am still crying. Tina and Jesika are heroes. A brave, important, heart-breaking book" (Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths)
"Amanda Berriman's Home kept me up late for all the right reasons. It's a tender portrait of a family in crisis that nevertheless grips like a thriller, a chronicle of extraordinary events that never slides into sensationalism. I loved Jesika - the girl through whose eyes the story is told - and her mother, who in remarkable times also faces the unremarkable challenges of motherhood we can all identify with." (Shelley Harris, author of VIGILANTE and JUBILEE)
"‘Home’ is an extraordinary achievement. Jesika is utterly unique yet it also feels like there is a chorus of children’s voices behind her, telling their story too. It’s an important story to hear. A must-read from an exceptional new writer.
Totally compelling. I read this behind my fingers and couldn’t put it down until I knew if Jesika was safe or not. An important reminder about what the world looks like from a child’s perspective.
I’m not sure I breathed while reading this. Jesika jumps off the page and into your heart. She will stay with me forever." (Tor Udall, author of A THOUSAND PAPER BIRDS)
About the Author
Mandy was born in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She works as a primary school teacher and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two children and dog.
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Lots of reviews have expressed how this is a fantastic book on the exploration of poverty etc. And it is. But it is also full of hope. The kindness of strangers who become friends and the magical bond between a mother and her children. And, I'll leave it there as I'm tearing up thinking back on this fabulous story and how sad I am to leave these characters who have become so real to me behind. Read this book...it's beyond fantastic!
The story is told from the viewpoint of a four year old girl and right from the beginning her narration took me right back to the confusion and innocent curiosity of childhood. The author has got so many things exactly right; how much more children see and hear than adults realise, how unerringly they read adult moods and emotions and how baffling those moods can be. Jesika is a bright little girl but the difficulty of explaining her problems to the adults around her, her mother, struggling to bring up two children on the poverty line, the various authorities and helpers on whom Jesika must depend when her mother is in hospital, frequently almost defeats her. And her story illustrates vividly and heartbreakingly how hard it is for a child to get adults to understand when they are in danger and how hard it is for adults to see when a child needs to tell them something.
Everyone who is involved in childcare should read this from parents outwards to the highest authorities. Not only does it illuminate the minds of children, it could almost be a blueprint of how to listen and understand them and how to show love and respect for them. And how quickly and genuinely they respond to the truth they see. Jesika's love and trust in her mother shines out of her narrative. It's an inspiring novel. I hope the author will write many more and I shall certainly read any that she does.
This book is simply fabulous. It took a chapter or so to get use to the 4 year old Jesika’s voice the book is told in, but once I did I was hooked.
The book delves into many themes, including poverty, a mother’s love, friendship, and the darker theme of child abuse. This was dealt with sensitively and its an important theme to discuss so please do not be put off by this.
Jesika will live with me for a long time. I adored her and her voice was strong and clever and is a good reminder at how alert a 4 year old can be.
Amanda Berriman is an exceptional new author and hope we see more from her.
I agree with another review. I never though the last word in a book could have such an impact. It was powerful and made me cry. It was thought provoking.
I will recommend ‘Home’ to others.
The subject matter is dark in places but sensitively handled and makes for a compelling read - I finished the second half in a single sitting and could not go to bed until I'd reached the end. Yet this is not a depressing read. Warmth and love shine through this story of the resilience of the human spirit, and the kindness of friends and neighbours is moving.
This story is thought-provoking and so relevant to the society we live in. I urge everyone to read it.