A young woman, flat broke and steeped in anger, resentment, and fear travels to a small village—Jonah, New York—to claim her inheritance when her father dies. He is the anti-hero who stole her childhood when he killed her mother and then went to prison. He owes her, which is why she feels driven to collect.

But she doesn’t anticipate the stipulations her father has placed on the inheritance. In order to claim the modest estate that seems huge to this girl who has nothing, she must live in Jonah for the next six months. Furious, yet compelled to do so nonetheless, Sarah Graham moves into her father’s cabin and begins to count down the days until she can leave.

As she meets each of the townsfolk, all with their quirky characteristics and homespun charms, Sarah is both appalled and drawn to them, but the walls she has built around herself only gradually begin to diminish. Each villager offers a view of her father—Luke Petersen—that she has never seen before, and as she grows to see other dimensions to him, she also begins to expand her version of herself.

Even though I was somewhat reluctant to read a book dubbed “Christian fiction,” for the possible moralistic posturing I would find, I soon forgot about labels as the author described and brought each character to life through her vivid descriptions and multi-layered characterizations. Soon I could see and feel the individuals who people this story.

However, I was disappointed that, at the end, the plot seemed to flatten, with the primary character sent off to continue her self-discovery “back in the city.” This did not ring true for me, which was why I deducted one star. Overall, however, Home Another Way was a worthwhile read, just for the lively and unique characters and the world the author painted for them.


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