Cover Image: On Home

On Home

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Inkshares and NetGalley for the free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

On Home by Becca Spence Dobias follows 3 generations of women - Cassidy; her mother, Paloma; and Paloma's mother, Jane. As they face various struggles in their time, including pregnancy, we see how they were shaped by their experiences and their responses to conflict.

First, the good: I think these characters felt pretty realistic, and I liked the writing style. I love a generational family story, and this one delivered on that aspect. 

Now for things that I struggled with: Cassidy was a very unmotivated character. She made choices, but they were never particularly explained to us as to why she did them. She flip-flopped between two big decisions (including making the same choice twice) and I struggled with understanding why and how she made those choices. I would've liked a little more reflection on that. I was frustrated with her as a character, but I think that could've been useful had it been set up a little better. As it stands, she was just too inert for me to want to follow for the majority of the book.

On the whole, I think this critique kind of sums up my issue with the whole book: it felt a little too surface level. I appreciated what it was trying to do, but a little more introspection from all of the characters would've helped me follow their logic a little better. I do think that Paloma and Jane felt a bit more explained, at least by the end, but Cassidy was just too wishy-washy to get a real hold onto who she was and what she wanted. 

I'm intrigued to see what this author does next, and I'll be keeping an eye out for her next work.
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A good book related to three generations of women and their struggles. 

although the book was a little slow at first, i soon got into it and the story panned out well. I am glad i waited and carried on with the book.

You just have to be patient with the characters and it soon makes sense further in the book.

Worth the read.
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This beautifully written book is a sensitive and insightful portrait of three generations of women struggling with sexuality, relationships and belonging. Grandma Jane's story begins post-WW2 as she leaves her small town in West Virginia to go and work in the big city - Washington D.C where men in uniform seem to prey on young, impressionable women. Paloma, Jane's daughter-in-law, meets her husband, Ken in Prague while she's teaching at a university there. Cassidy, Paloma's daughter, left West Virginia behind and is a cam girl in Southern California. When her father, Ken is killed in an accident, she comes home intending only to stay for the funeral, but fate takes a turn . The setting of small town, West Virginia is a major factor in this novel. Jane sees it as a place of safety while Paloma, who at first viewed it as a good place to raise a family, feels suffocated and longs for the liberated lifestyle she left behind in Prague. Cassidy feels that returning to Buckannon is a sign of her continued failure in the eyes of her mother, and the interaction between the two is prickly and distant as they try to interact without the buffer of Cassidy's beloved father. The interaction between the three women and their attempts to come to terms with their life in the small town, and their place in the world as women, is skilfully and expertly portrayed by Dobias who weaves a well-paced, compelling story that deals with many deep human issues such as the fleeting nature of experience as well as the sanctuary of home and family, and the power of love.
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On Home is a beautifully written book about three generations of women. I loved Cassidy's character, she felt so real, and lost, I was rooting for her the whole time. I also loved her grandmother Jane's story. A good portion of the book takes place in West Virginia, which originally drew me to the story. A lot of things are explored in this book, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc, but they are interwoven into the story in a very authentic way.
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This book was PHENOMENAL! I loved it and I can't wait to purchase it when it is released because I definitely will be!
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On Home is a multi-generational tale that reckons with grief, sexuality, woman- and parenthood, and what it means to come back home. When an unexpected tragedy strikes Cassidy's family just after her Grandma Jane is diagnosed with dementia, she has to return home to small-town West Virginia. After an emotionally charged hookup with an old friend, Cassidy finds herself pregnant and at a loss for the next steps. 

This story is told from the perspectives of Cassidy, her mother Paloma, and her grandmother Jane. While all three women must contend with their ideas and feelings about motherhood, their approaches to their new role is vastly different. Each woman learns the power of finding her roots and returning to them. Cassidy must come to terms with her identity as a lesbian, which means coming out to her mom, her friends, and herself. Paloma must cope with the grief of multiple miscarriages and her feelings of marriage to Cassidy's father. Jane is coping with her decision to have an abortion in the midst of the War.

Ultimately, I really liked this book. While I didn't like the characters that much, I did find their struggles relatable. Of the three narrators, I liked Paloma the least. Despite that, I think that the stories intertwined very well and tied up nicely. Dobias navigates the family dynamics in a way that readers can understand and potentially relate to. 

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 (rounded up to 4)

On Home will be available for purchase starting August 24th. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads shelf and see where it's available for purchase. Also, be sure to check out Becca Spence Dobias's profile on Inkshares!

I was lucky enough to be able to read this Advanced Reader's Copy through my partnership with NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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Becca Spence Dobias is a dear friend, and I have had the pleasure of editing her work several times. I am so pleased that ON HOME will soon be out in the world.

Although Cassidy is the main protagonist, this is really a family story, with many layers going back generations. Cassidy makes her living doing cam work in California, but her roots are back in West Virginia. Her mother, Paloma, and her grandmother, Jane, both tell their parts of the story. In short, arresting chapters, we cycle through their points of view. Jane, who is in a nursing home now, reflects on her life as a Government Girl during World War II, while Paloma recollects her time spent in Czechoslovakia with Cassidy's father, Ken. Jane isn't doing well, and Paloma wants Cassidy to come home - but when Ken dies unexpectedly, Cassidy doesn't have a choice but to return.

Through the flashbacks and unfolding of the present-day story, the novel explores the definition of home and what makes a place a home. It also comments on how our identities are tied to the places we're from, and how we can feel contempt for a place and yet be inextricably tied to it. Finally, there's the definition of family and how we make it, through both blood ties and chosen relationships. Layered with these themes is the lyrical writing, which propels the reader through each story and the novel as a whole. Since Becca is my friend, I can honestly say that I am jealous of how well she writes - with surprising turns of phrase that delight the reader on each page.

Readalikes are going to be different depending on what brings you to the story. I would definitely recommend this book for those who enjoyed Natalka Burian's DAUGHTERS OF THE WILD. Burian's book includes magical realism, but both novels are set in Appalachia and contain gorgeous writing. I might also recommend to fans of Chloe Benjamin's THE IMMORTALISTS, another well-researched family story told from differing perspectives.
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Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC of this book. I really enjoyed this one and read it in one day. Look forward to much more by this author.
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Thank you, NetGalley for providing me an ARC!
I give this 3.6 stars.
You can really notice the author has really good prose, since the beginning the story flows easily and your introduction to the characters feels familiar. However, it took me around 75 pages to get fully hooked to the story, it felt like it lacked something.
The main character had some growth up until the end and I felt sometimes the decisions that were chosen were a little too perfect. 
I would love to read more about this author, I think they have quite an amazing grasp of storytelling.
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I wholeheartedly regret asking for an arc of this book, it was so slow. I couldn’t connect with any of the characters and I had to force myself to read it. It was just horrible but I do have to say the plot definitely was intriguing and I loved the prose.
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I have to admit that at the beginning, I really ask myself why I choose this book. The first 100 pages are very slow, and a little complicated. Yet, after that, I really like the book. It shows a lot of things interesting, things that not a lot of persons talk about ( abortion during the war), and how even now, it’s difficult to talk about it.
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On Home tells the story of three women from the same family, but from different generations.
At first, I thought Cassidy would be my favorite, but as the story went on, she was the one I liked the least. I was very disappointed and frustrated with her. I understand she's a pretty realistic character, but I've spent the entire book wanting to scream at her and her selfishness and how spoiled she is. On the other hand, I really liked Jane's story. Pamela's, I thought it was ok.
Overall, it was an interesting book to read, absorbing the experiences of the three characters, getting to know the three generations and their search for a greater meaning in life.

** I want to thank NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review. **
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On the whole, a well written book. The setting for the heart of the novel was fully fleshed out, and felt very real. I struggled with the fact most of the characters were unlikeable, some small things unbeliveable (like Cassidy wouldn't know what dementia was, but would know to ask airlines for a bereavement rate). Grandma Jane really held down the story in terms of people I liked, but her narrative was unreliably fluctuating between past and present. Here it made sense, with what she was going through, unlike Paloma's flashbacks to 90's Prague which felt out of place, and for me, unwanted. Paloma in general I struggled the most with, not understanding really the "admiration and aversion" relationship she had with her husband. More problamatic was that it seemed her whole identity was "a mother" (yet she really isn't a good one?). At one point we get the line- "Even then, before Cassidy, Paloma had loved Ken as her child's father". This is ridiculous, I don't know any women who think this way. Cassidy's plot line seemed more contrived. Mother and daughter scenes were hard to read, both having a contest of selfishness. (With the text then pointing out the character trait, pounding us over the head with it, rather than just showing us)

I really liked the relationship between Cassidy and Noeli, that felt so grounded in truth. On the whole, there were a number of side relationships, like Jane and Ding that reallly resonated off the page. (The exception being Cassidy and Simon's awkward unrealistic conversations-high five, bud!- complete with throwing rutabagas). Beautiful prose with perfect, yet unique analogies (like when Cassidy compared camming to the wake) made me want to keep reading.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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i was intrigued just by the title but was unfortunately let down. The premise is good but the characters stories just didnt do it for me neither of them were very memorable and i stopped the book at 47 percent For me it seemed to just draw on and on, I did like the writing style but the amount of unneccessary details were just too confusing for  me.
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*Thank you NetGalley for the ARC*

A solid 3.5 stars for me, I didn't mind this book but I wanted to focus to be on just Cassidy. It didn't feel necessary to have the viewpoints of Grandma Jane, even though I loved her background story, and Cassidy's mother, Paloma. I did like her relationship with her grandmother and how close they are in this book. Cassidy and Noeli's blossoming relationship was great to read as well, I wasn't really expecting it but wasn't surprised either. 
I would have liked an epilogue of how Cassidy settles in the end with the new changes she had to deal with. 
Overall a decent read and I would like to read more from the author.
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This novel was okay. It was well-written, but the plot and characters didn't hold my attention. It is an intergenerational tale spanning three generations of women, yet I only really felt captivated by Cassidy's perspective. She is flawed and unlikeable. For example, when her parents video call her to announce that her paternal grandmother has dementia, Cassidy thinks her older relative is dead. Immediately, she imagines making a memorial post on social media. A little while later, she uses her grandmother's dementia to garner pity from a client. The most I can say without spoiling anything is that Cassidy's decisions are often frustrating to witness, and she seems kind of heartless for most of the book. Her mother and grandmother were okay, but their portions of the story just weren't compelling enough. Overall, this was an interesting portrait of womanhood, motherhood, and identity in Appalachia, but nothing special. This novel wasn't up my alley, but when Dobias releases another book, I may check it out because I like her writing style.
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Well written coming of age novel spanning three generation of moms. Each telling their story of love and lose and coming together to help Cassidy make some hard decisions. I was getting a bit frustrated every time she would have a challenge she’d run away but so glad she found her way home. 

Thank you NetGalley for this arc
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com uma escrita que flui muito bem e é de facil entendimento, a Becca conseguiu escrever uma historia bem desenvolvida com personagens com construções reais, tudo foi muito crível. gostei demais, recomendo!
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On Home is a slow burn story about three generations of women: Cassidy, Paloma, and Jane.  Honestly, the only perspective I was interested in was Cassidy's.  Paloma was the most difficult one for me to connect to, and while I enjoyed Jane's segments, I feel like the novel could've worked with it being all from Cassidy's point of view.  That being said, I understand that the point of the novel is probably to show the themes of fertility and how intensely it plays into the lives of these three extremely different women.  I get it, but I just didn't care about anyone other than Cassidy.  THAT being said, I found myself getting frustrated with Cassidy more than not.  She's so selfish and just eats through everyone in her life because she can, and whenever anyone tries to call her on it, she falls back on blaming her unhappy childhood (which she later discovers wasn't really that unhappy after all).  I think she's probably a very realistic character, and she probably isn't supposed to be likable (I also don't believe that the protagonist needs to always be a likable character), but I got so frustrated and angry at her that I didn't find myself rooting for her.  Noeli was my favorite character, and I really loved her calling Cassidy out.  Overall, I might not have loved On Home, but it's a well crafted novel, and I look forward to reading more from Becca Spence Dobias.
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"This was the first real thing that ever happened to her. Everything up to this point, even her sex life, has been pretend." - From On Home 

3.5 stars. 

On the whole, a well written book. The setting for the heart of the novel was fully fleshed out, and felt very real. I struggled with the fact most of the characters were unlikeable, some small things unbeliveable (like Cassidy wouldn't know what dementia was, but would know to ask airlines for a bereavement rate). Grandma Jane really held down the story in terms of people I liked, but her narrative was unreliably fluctuating between past and present. Here it made sense, with what she was going through, unlike Paloma's flashbacks to 90's Prague which felt out of place, and for me, unwanted. Paloma in general I struggled the most with, not understanding really the "admiration and aversion" relationship she had with her husband. More problamatic was that it seemed her whole identity was "a mother" (yet she really isn't a good one?). At one point we get the line- "Even then, before Cassidy, Paloma had loved Ken as her child's father". This is ridiculous, I don't know any women who think this way. Cassidy's plot line seemed more contrived. Mother and daughter scenes were hard to read, both having a contest of selfishness. (With the text then pointing out the character trait, pounding us over the head with it, rather than just showing us) 

I really liked the relationship between Cassidy and Noeli, that felt so grounded in truth. On the whole, there were a number of side relationships, like Jane and Ding that reallly resonated off the page. (The exception being Cassidy and Simon's awkward unrealistic conversations-high five, bud!- complete with throwing rutabagas). Beautiful prose with perfect, yet unique analogies (like when Cassidy compared camming to the wake) made me want to keep reading. 

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
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