Already Home - Susan Mallery
Released March 29, 2011
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
Every once in a while, I come across a galley that completely mesmerizes me. I start reading thinking I can fill a little time while waiting at the high school and end up hoping my son and his friend take a little longer than usual. I want to keep reading until I finish the very last word. Already Home is one of those books that hooked me from the start.
Jenna Stevens is fresh out of a divorce and ready to move on with her life. The biggest problem involves self-doubt. Her ex spent so much time shooting down her creativity, that she's convinced she's a failure. Why she opted to spend her savings on a small store is beyond her. She wants to make a go of this boutique kitchen shop, but she fears she's in over her head.
Meanwhile, Jenna has new problems looming in the distance. She was adopted by loving parents and has never had an urge to find her birth parents. When they suddenly appear in her life, she's not sure she's ready. Worse, the seem intent on taking over as her parents. Torn between the family she loves who urge her to get to know her birth family and pressure from her new parents, Jenna isn't certain how to proceed.
Back at the store, Jenna hires a young woman, Violet, who has retail experience. Violet may have the key to turn Jenna's store into a thriving business, but she too has her insecurities. When Violet meets the man of her dreams, she wonders if she really deserves him? Is he really the best thing for her?
Soon, Jenna and Violet form a fast friendship. Violet's never had a family and longs for what Jenna has. Jenna has too much family and wishes it was easier. Both of them begin to learn things about themselves and how family can be key to survival in difficult times.
Don't make the mistake I did. Have Kleenex handy when you start to read. I sat in my car with tears streaming down my face. Worse, it wasn't just at the ending of the book. I started tearing up after only a few chapters. Susan Mallery's novel is highly emotional and definitely tugs at the heart strings.
I adored Jenna, despite her weaknesses. I also found myself really liking Violet. She's tougher, as a matter of survival. Add in some minor characters, all who play important parts in Jenna and Violet's life, and you become a part of this small town and really wish the story would continue forever.
There are a myriad of topics in Already Home. Emotional and physical abuse play a part in the story. There's also the struggle with finding your birth family and the insecurity that causes with the family who raised you. This is only the start. There's so much happening within the story that you become so involved that time flies. It's beautifully written and definitely one of the best books I've read this year.
I'm thrilled that Susan Mallery will be returning to this Texas community with her Knitting Diaries anthology. Hopefully, she'll catch up on the characters in Already Home.