Homesick by Jennifer Croft
WOMEN’S PRIZE LONGLIST ~ HOMESICK
Sometimes a book can wow you on many a level and for me, Homesick did just that. One of the lesser known titles from the @womensprize longlist announced last week, it’s the story of two Oaklahoma-based sisters, Amy and Zoe.
The girls are exceptionally close — Amy’s a classic Type A older child, intelligent, hardworking and a devoted big sister to Zoe who she feels responsible for. Their childhood changes forever when Zoe becomes unwell — as does their bond.
The story itself sounds relatively simple but don’t be fooled. Croft’s narrative powers are utterly masterful and she handles huge themes with grace and skill — including current affairs at the time like the Oklahoma bombing as well as mental health and death by suicide.
Crisp and clear language will take you right to the heart of childhood and what it is to come of age, and it will mould as the girls get older and their lives change shape.
I don’t have a sister but I suspect if you do you’ll be blown away by how Croft has captured the complexities of such a relationship and brought them to light. I challenge any reader to come away from this one anything less than completely moved, haunted and feeling like you know these characters as intimately as your own friends or family.
Who else had read this one? I’d love to know your thoughts. Can you tell? I thought it was a superb and very, very special book ~ S