REVIEW: Home Truths

“No one was immune to the vagaries of fate, any more than they were incapable of making mistakes. Everyone, no matter who they were, or how dire their straits, had to find a way of dealing with the worst-case scenarios life threw at them.”

Why Did I Read This Book?

You probably guessed it but this was the other Beth’s Book Club pick for June and one that when it arrived, seemed pretty daunting. It is quite a chunky book and I had no idea what the book was about before settling into it. As I’m dedicated to reading all of this book club’s picks, I was intrigued to sink my teeth into this one.

What Did I Think?

First of all, as mentioned above, this book was HEFTY. Not that that is necessarily ever a bad thing and some people actually prefer big books that they can spend time reading instead of flying through a small one. Yet for me, it did feel like I was reading this book for WEEKS.

I really struggled with the beginning of the book. Although it was necessary to introduce the characters and the back story, I felt that when I was reading the first third of the book, I was making myself sit down and read. I didn’t have the desire to want to pick the book back up and therefore it began to feel a bit like a chore.

However, after this little hurdle, I became obsessed with the story and I grew attached to our main character, Angie. We as readers, got to witness the very raw and heartbreaking reality for Angie, whilst she pretended to the world that she was ‘fine’. Her whole world had come crashing down, and thank the Lord for her sister helping her, because I don’t know what would have happened to both Angie and her children if her sister wasn’t there to help out.

Yet Angie had to go through some pretty horrendous things, as well as dealing with the council and the insufferable experience of asking for help. It shocked me how the council were unwilling to help this woman (with two children) who had been evicted and could do so unemotionally. If I had to turn away someone desperate for a help, I don’t think I would be able to live with myself. It must be awful for those people working in jobs such as these, who cannot help these desperate people and who I suppose, must have to force themselves to not get upset about these cases. I for one could not do it.

“She felt a burning need to be more proactive, to do something, anything to prove to herself and the children that she was capable of sorting out this terrible mess. But what the hell was she supposed to do when everyone was barricaded behind computers these days, or kept her hanging on the phone for so long that she had to ring off just to remain sane?”

The book club discussion was interesting for this one, as a lot of people thought that the story was too stereotypical and agreed that had it been written in first person, with narratives included from other vital characters, we could have got a more in-depth and complete insight into how poverty affects all those going through it. For instance, from Angie’s sister, we could have understood more about how the effects of having to support Angie impacted her life as well, along with a narrative from her daughter Grace offering a very important message about child trafficking.

All in all, I did enjoy this book and I have often referred to it as being like a BBC drama series. Every time I picked the book up, I felt like I was strapping myself in for another explosive and heart-wrenching episode and I really enjoyed that aspect. As someone who has recently not read that many big, thick books, I enjoyed the experience of reading Home Truths.

What I liked most about this book club pick was that it was a book that I had never heard about and I probably would have never picked this book up had I seen it in a bookstore. I have spoken quite a lot recently on my social media channels about the importance of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, especially when it comes to genres that you hold some sort of unintentional stigma towards. Yet these books/genres that you may think you’ll never enjoy can offer a different perspective/outlook, or a little spark of joy that you would have otherwise missed out on, had you turned away from it.

So my challenge for you is to read a book this month, that is out of your comfort zone and see how you get on with it! I’d love to know whether this particular book changes your outlook on a genre etc. Feel free to reach out and let me know!

Home Truths

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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