If you’ve read Stacie Ramey’s debut novel, The Sister Pact (and if you haven’t, you should!), then you already know John Strickland, the main character in Ramey’s sophomore release, The Homecoming. John’s moved back home with his mother as the novel opens, a place he hasn’t lived in a while. His girlfriend Leah has committed suicide, and John’s resulting bad choices have put him in a position where he has to answer to a probation officer as well as deal with the return to a home he doesn’t want to be in.
John, in his senior year of high school, has to readjust to a life he doesn’t want to have. His little sister, Livy, is thrilled to have John home, and he has a new next door neighbor, Emily, who, despite his best intents, draws his romantic interest. But the one thing we can never escape is our past, and John not only deals with the guilt of his girlfriend’s suicide, he also bears weight on his shoulders as a result of a childhood accident that changed his older brother, Ryan, forever. Because of the accident, Ryan has center stage in their mother’s life, and John once again has to deal with a ton of anger issues as a result.
The Homecoming is a brilliantly told story of a young man trying to figure out where he fits in and who he wants to be. His struggles are real, and that is a compliment to the author, whose details create a world that we believe. She skillfully weaves John’s backstory – including The Sister Pact’s main character, Allie – throughout in such a way that we really understand where John is coming from, and there are some shocks and surprises in store as the plot winds its way from the beginning to the very satisfying ending.
Read this book. 🙂