June 29, 2011

The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson

If you look back at your life, can you think of moments that changed your life and made you who you are now?

The title The Year We Left Home is a little misleading because this book isn't about a year; it's about a series of moments, moments in a family's life that tie the family together. But from the very beginning I knew I was going to like it. The book is about a family from Iowa that goes through everything we all go through - rebellion, death, life, divorce, war - and somehow manages to come out on the other side even when you don't think it's possible.

The book is broken into chapters that are really short stories about these different moments in time. Each story is told from the point of view of one of the family members spanning three generations. The stories begin back when the kids are young and  follow them throughout their lifetime. Each story builds upon the last in a very subtle way with either just a simple mention of a past event or a tie in to another character until the end, which I won't give away. There really isn't a storyline or what we see as plot to speak of, but the way that Thompson writes this journalistic view into the moments that changed this family's life is wonderful to read.

In short, I loved the concept behind this book and enjoyed the actual almost as much as the idea behind it. Definitely worth picking up. 

I was given a free copy of this book to review. 

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