Saturday, February 6, 2016

Already Home by Susan Mallery

I am not even going to try to be coy.  I loved this book!  I had never read a Susan Mallery book before this, but if her other books are this good, I will be reading more.  I saw this book at the library and it just intrigued me.  So I looked both ways to be sure nobody saw me take a romance book and then fled to the checkout.  It turns out I liked this book so much I just ordered a copy for my home library and I will read it again the moment I get it.  I'm not too proud to say I'm counting down the six days until it gets here!  I could have had it Monday, but I am just too cheap to pay the extra for two day shipping.  I'm sure that says something about me, but I won't think about that!

I enjoyed the author's writing style.  Of course, you never know what you're going to get when you pick up a romance.  Sometimes the writing is subpar and other times it's just ok-ish.  This author's writing style is simple yet not boring nor too elementary.  It certainly is not challenging, but neither did I feel the need to take out my red pen and mark all the mistakes.  Perhaps I didn't mind the simple writing style because I loved the plot.

As for the plot:  Already Home certainly held no surprises.  I figured out everything pretty quickly and knew exactly where we were headed.  Despite that, I thoroughly enjoyed the journey.  It was akin to going on a road trip.  I know exactly where I'm going, but I enjoy the drive to my destination nevertheless.  Susan Mallery made the trip to the end of this book just amazing.  I can't say what exactly it was that made me love it so, but I can't deny I truly did enjoy it.  I believe it was the author's ability to handle even very tough subject matter with kindness and avoid the pitfall of over sentiment.  I feel Ms. Mallery did a very good job of adequately addressing some incredibly tough subjects without being preachy, condescending or crass.  And trust me, those things could have easily happened. 

I also truly enjoyed the characters themselves.  Each character was pleasingly unique and wonderfully kind in his or her own fashion.  Ms. Mallery did a fantastic job of creating complex, yet easy to understand characters, and that made it so easy to appreciate each character's growth throughout the story.  I also was extremely happy that each character was well rounded and grew with the story.  Even the minor characters had a bit of growth.  However, the main characters especially grew within the story with grace, kindness and love.

What truly impressed me about this book however was the depth of the story.  Yes, it was a romance and there was certainly that aspect.  But the other issues explored throughout the story were deep and resonant.  None of them were easy issues.  And I would venture to say that most readers will have experienced at least some of these issues in their own lives.  The writer never made the story apologize for these issues.  Instead she wrote wonderful, strong characters that met their challenges and grew from them.  I absolutely loved the story's exploration of the most human of relationships -- the family. 

All things considered, I would highly recommend this book.  I would strongly encourage you to move it to the top of your reading list.  That being said, I will say the book deals with some very intense issues and some people may have a very hard time with that subject matter.  The author does not go into gross and gory detail, nor does she belabor the point.  However, if you are easily triggered, you may not want to read this book.  I will admit this book brought me to tears several times as most of the things dealt with in this book have been a part of my life.  However, don't let this scare you away.  I would say that anyone who reads this book will enjoy it and will be better for having read it.   

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