Meet Jesika, aged four and a half.
She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn’t draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.
She does not know that their landlord is threatening to evict them and that Toby’s cough is going to get much worse. Or that Paige, her new best friend, has a secret that will explode their world.
My Review: Home is an extraordinary debut novel and yes there will be comparisons to Emma Donoghue’s Room because the narrator, Jesika is 4 and a half years old, however unlike Room I instantly connected with Jesika and as a parent my motherly instincts went into overdrive.
Jesika lives with her mummy, Tina and her baby brother, Toby in a flat full of damp, mould, broken windows, cracks in the bath, unreliable heating and an unscrupulous landlord.
Jesika is the most adorable, insightful, excitable, emotional little girl ever. Her innocence and view on the world made my heart break. There were several moments during the book I had to take a deep breath before carrying on because despite her innocence I was able to see what was happening around her and it felt very uncomfortable not being about to stop and help.
There are several topics which are deeply disturbing, however they are dealt with sympathetically and sensitively. This is only the second book I have read in my life that I read in one sitting starting at 8pm and finishing at 1am in the morning and not regretting a minute of staying up way past my bedtime. It is wonderful and uncomfortable in equal measures and one that I would definitely recommend.
About the Author: Mandy was born in Germany and grew up in Edinburgh, reading books, playing music, writing stories and climbing hills. She works as a primary school teacher and lives on the edge of the Peak District with her husband, two children and dogs