A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith

A Place to Call Home is one of my all-time favourite books. I bought it ages & ages ago (before I left Canada) & it was one of the few things I brought with me when I moved to Ireland. Over the years I had read it dozens of times & each time I have loved it more.  It is one of those rare books that has the power to make me laugh, cry & scream with anger.

From the back of the book:

Twenty years ago, Claire Maloney was the willful, pampered tomboyish daughter of the town’s most respected family, but that didn’t stop her from befriending Roan Sullivan, a fierce, motherless boy who lived in a rusted-out trainer amid junked cars. No one in Dunderry, Georgia – least of all Claire’s family – could understand the bond between these two mavericks. But Roan and Claire belonged together…until the dark afternoon when violence and terror overtook them, and Roan disappeared from Claire’s life. Now, two decades later, Claire is adrift , and the Maloneys are still hoping the past can be buried under the rich Southern soil. But Roan Sullivan is about to walk back into their lives…

A Place to Call Home follows the story of Claire Maloney & Roan Sullivan. Claire is a pampered 5-year-old girl who rails against her station in life. She revels in being different, in being the one who sticks out – which is a pretty hard thing to do in a family her size! Roan, on the other hand is the epitome of the boy from the wrong side of the tracks. His mother died when he was a toddler & his father is the town drunk, a man who at the best of times ignores Roan & at the worst smacks him around.

Claire & Roan develop a friendship of sorts and begin to look after each other. Claire witnesses Roan being beaten up by her cousins, so she comes to his defence, then Roan returns the favour when she gets picked on at school. When Roan’s father gets sent to jail Claire puts her faith in her parents & tells them where Roan has disappeared to, which results in Roan being brought to the Maloney farm to live. Less than a year later tragedy strikes & Claire’s parents send Roan away to a Church home for boys & he disappears from the Maloney family for good.

Claire spends the next 20 years trying to find Roan, trying to atone for what her family did to him, then tragedy strikes again and Roan is brought back to Dunderry. Only, this time it’s on his terms. Will Claire be able to handle what has happened to Roan in the intervening 20 years? Will they still have their magic, or did they lose it that day in Sullivan’s Hollow?

As I said, I have read this book a fair few times (so many that my 1st copy ended up worn out, lol) & I love it so much. I hadn’t read it in many years as I couldn’t find a copy over here & for a while it was out of print. Not long ago I checked on Amazon & it was there, so of course I had to buy it & read it. I’m so glad that I did!


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Filed under postaweek2011, Relaxing reading

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