Saturday, May 4, 2024

Someplace Like Home

Someplace Like Home by Bobi Conn
5/21/24; 254 pages
Little A

Someplace Like Home by Bobi Conn is a highly recommended domestic drama set in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains of eastern Kentucky. It is a powerful fictionalized account of the lives of Conn's grandmother and mother and is about abusive relationships in isolated environments.

Jenny Caudill grew up in a strict home where her parents, especially her mother, laid down the law. Her parents had worked hard to stretch every dollar for a home and garage/barn where her father worked on cars for a living. As the youngest of four sisters, with one younger brother, she wore hand-me-downs. Everyone was expected to follow the rules and be home before dark. Jenny was ignored by boys until Rob Lewis laid eyes on her and began coming to her house and paying attention to her. Ignoring her mother's harsh warnings, Jenny continues to see Rob which results in a marriage of violence and substance abuse.

The narrative is divided into three sections. Part one is Jenny's childhood, part two is after Jenny and Rob are married, and the final part is from the point-of-view of Charlie, Jenny's daughter. The majority of the story is through Jenny's point-of-view and she is a sympathetic character. It should be noted that there are very descriptive scenes of control and abuse. It will be difficult for many to understand the all-too-real dilemma of why family didn't step forward to help her and the hopelessness of why she put up with the violence once she had children to protect.

The writing is excellent and Conn does a great job capturing the time, place, and setting. She depicts the lack of real choices and opportunities available in the area which left many open to abuse, trauma, addiction, and despondency. It would have been satisfying if more emotional healing from all of their trauma was covered. This would be a great book club choice, especially for the discussions on the role of location, limited choices, and isolation in circumstances of trauma and abuse. Thanks to Little A for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

No comments: