Cover Image: The Homes

The Homes

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Member Reviews

I was so excited when I was approved to read this book, what an amazingly profound novel told from the point of view of a child, it’s amazing what you see through children’s eyes, they are very astute, certainly made for a very interesting read.

Wonderful characters and plot. Bring on the next one.
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Lesley lives in a Scottish village called The Homes for children who are orphans or have been taken into care. It’s a cruel place with little love but gets much worse when some of the girls are murdered. Les is 12 and afraid she’ll be be so tries to find out who the killer is.
It’s written in the first person from Lesley’s  point of view and the author does a good job in getting across the voice of a twelve year old. It’s quite well done, is unusual and is essentially a thriller. Thanks to Viper and Netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review.
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I found it interesting that The Homes was based around true events. Which made the story very saddening that these types of stories happen in real life. 

I love the short chapters, and the flow of the story through a child’s point of view. It made me reminisce to my childhood as what it was like to be a 12 year old. 

Even though it’s told through a child’s perspective, I found some of the dialogue a bit hard to follow especially with the mispronunciation with words such as died spelt deid and not spelt no. This really distracted me from enjoying the story however I do understand this was probably done because it’s children speaking. 

Thanks Netgalley and Serpents Tail for the digital ARC of The Homes for reviewing purposes. 

*Note due to negative review I will  only be posting to Goodreads.
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Narrated by twelve year old orphan Lesley, The Homes by J B Mylet is an unusual crime thriller. Based on an actual village of orphans, Lesley and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5 at The Homes, in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. An older girl is found murdered behind the church sending fear amongst the group homes and then another teenage girl is also killed. Lesley and Jonesy decide to solve the murders with some assistance from the police detective in charge. When yet another girl’s body is discovered, the police seem clueless and the childrens’ safety is at grave risk. Life in the village continues and Lesley has to deal with friendships, her education and the continual questions she asks to discover the murderer. Part coming of age tale, with nicely building tension, comes this story of a truly remarkable hero whose own life becomes imperilled. An amazing debut novel that captures life realistically in the orphans’ village, has great characters and a four and a half star must read rating. With thanks to Serpent's Tail and the author, for an uncorrected advanced reader copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own and freely given.
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On the outskirts of Glasgow, the Homes is a village for around 1000 Scottish orphans. Twelve year olds Lesley and Jonesy live there and have been best friends forever. One day their lives are changed when a girl is found murdered in the Homes. Not long after, another girl is killed. Lesley and Jonesy take it upon themselves to see if they can figure out who the killer is…

The whole concept of the Homes was new to me and I found it really interesting to read about. The author acknowledges that the book is based on his mother’s childhood in the 60’s, which I think really helps add to the reading experience.

I loved the characters of Lesley and Jonesy and reading the book from Lesley’s point of view was really refreshing for a thriller and made it a completely different reading experience! There are some really poignant moments between the girls and you really feel the strength of their relationship. 

Whilst it wasn’t a fast paced book and no real edge of your seat moments, it’s the characters I really loved and their  innocence shines through. I enjoyed the murder mystery aspect to the book, but it was the unforgettable voice of Lesley that stuck with me.

Looking forward to seeing if J.B. Mylet has more to offer in the future as The Homes is definitely a great addition to the fantastic Scottish fiction already out there!
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The Homes is told in the voice of Lesley, a 12 year old child who lives in a children’s home where the living accommodation is based on a series of cottages each with its own house parents.  In fact such a home did exist in Scotland – the Quarriers Village orphanage near Bridge of Weir, in Renfrewshire a place designed to enhance Christian values of kindness and compassion, but in the end it was a place where terrible things happened to children.

But this is a fictional story and Lesley’s voice is distinctive and compelling. She’s a bright 12 year old and this marks her out from her counterparts. So much so that she goes to a different school where her academic achievement is encouraged. At the Home, she is best pals with Jonesy, born Morag Jones, a lively, mouthy girl with irrepressible energy. The pair are inseparable.

Set in the 60’s, corporal punishment is a way of life for these girls, but nothing prepares them for the murder of one of their own. The police investigate but find neither evidence nor motive, though the girls speculate among themselves, coming up with theories, many of which are far- fetched.

The Homes is written in very simple, straightforward fashion and that really does make Lesley’s voice stand out. As she struggles with her own situation – longing for a mother who she feels has never wanted her; with a million questions to ask her granny who comes to visit, she is also determined to find out who killed the girl and disrupted what was, at least, a stable existence.

There’s an authenticity to Lesley’s voice that rings true and I think this would work well as a Y/A book, though some of the harsher realities of life and death are clearly laid out.

At its heart though this is a story of friendship and loss. When another child dies, Lesley thinks the police are useless and she and Jonesy investigate for themselves, with disastrous consequences.

JB Mylet paints a very clear picture of life in The Homes, of the lives of these girls and the absence of love that is their daily existence – although there are instances of kindness that stand out.

He captures perfectly that sense of being unwanted and the myriad emotions that pulse through 12 year old Lesley, including the sheer excitement that comes with thinking that she is on the trail of a killer.

Verdict: The Homes is a murder mystery that is told through a compelling and distinctive voice that resonates loudly. It is simply and clearly told and it examines the thoughts that go through the mind of a 12 year old girl as she contemplates what it might feel like to be loved and wanted and why, if there is a God, he would allow bad things to happen to girls who have done nothing to warrant it? It’s a sometimes raw and certainly emotional read though the sadness is often tempered with laugh out loud moments. Hugely captivating, authentic and enjoyable.
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There were good people in The Homes. But there were also some very, very bad ones...
A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley's quiet thoughtfulness.
Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. But unwanted children are easy victims, and they are both in terrible danger...

This is a really gripping read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.  This is my own honest voluntary review.
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The homes by J.B. Mylet. 
A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley's quiet thoughtfulness. Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. 
A very good read.  Good story and characters.  4*.
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An excellent whodunit featuring two orphaned pre-teen living in a village for children nobody want.
It was a gripping and well plotted story, heartbreaking at moment.
The author is a good storyteller, the mystery is solid, and i loved the strong relationship between the MCs.
A good story, can't wait to read another book by this author.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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What an absolutely wonderful book!

A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish Lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, and she and her best friend Jonesy live in Cottage 5, Jonesy the irrepressible spirit to Lesley's quiet thoughtfulness.

Life is hard and for these young children it becomes even harder when some of them own turn up murdered, who could be doing this to innocent children and why? The book has a wonderful cast of characters all brilliantly portrayed with great depth that allow the reader to really become a part of their lives and oh how your emotions roll with the terrible events taking place around them There are also some caring people who really do care for Lesley but as all things in life these can be few and far between and not always constant in their lives. 

I loved the deep friendship between Lesley and Jonesy and my heart caught in my mouth at the what I probably should have seen coming but didn't, all I can say is that I had tears in my eyes as I read further on.  The author does a wonderful job of describing the girls relationship and even though there are tough realities the two have to face there are also some wonderful humerous moments that touched me very deeply.

Thank you to Netgalley, the author and publisher for allowing me into Lesley's world, it really was a privilege. All opinions in this review are my own.
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What an absolutely compelling story of unwanted children being brought up in homes. Told with compassion and understanding, it's a very beautiful, well written and compelling read. The inspiration comes from a true story and the characters are believable, 12 year old Lesley faces hardship and abuse but retains her spirit throughout. I cried but also laughed at this memorable read. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.
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Inspired by a true story, The Homes is told through the eyes of twelve-year-old Lesley, who lives in a self-contained village for unwanted and abandoned children in Scotland. When a child is found murdered, and then another Lesley and her best friend Jonsey decide to hunt find the killer. Although The Homes is a ‘whodunnit’, It’s the characters that make this book such a compelling read.

The thing I loved about this book is the friendship between Lesley and Jonesy, together they face abuse, hardship and social injustice in the Homes. There’re as different as chalk and cheese, but they complement each other perfectly. Mylet has done a fantastic job in creating characters that grab a piece of your heart. I laughed, I cried, and I feared for the girls’ safety.

Even after I finished this book, my thoughts kept returning to Lesley and Jonesy. The Homes is beautifully written and although I enjoyed the crime element, for me this book was all about the characters, and that’s why The Homes will sit firmly on my list of top reads of 2022. Highly recommended.
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4.5 stars rounded up to 5

A thousand unwanted children live in The Homes, a village of orphans in the Scottish lowlands on the outskirts of Glasgow. Lesley was six before she learned that most children live with their parents. Now Lesley is twelve, she and her best friend Jonesy live in cottage 5, Jonesy is the irrepressible spirit to Lesley's quiet thoughtfulness. Life is often cruel at The Homes, and suddenly it becomes much crueller. A child is found murdered. Then another. With the police unable to catch the killer, Lesley and Jonesy decide to take the matter into their own hands. 

Inspired by a true story. What makes it more believable is that its told through the eyes of a child. A story of friendship in an Orphanage in the 1960s. The story is based on real people. Lesley is now twelve and she's been in The Homes since she was a baby/ This should be a safe place for Lesley and her best friend Jonesy. to grow up, but then a girl is found murdered. What a compelling read this book was. I liked the dynamic between Lesley and Jonesy. We learn all about life in The Homes, and its not all good. The gripping account moved ,e. It's beautifully and emotionally written,

I would like to thank #NetGalley #SerpentsTailViperProfileBooks and the author #JBMylet for my ARC of #TheHomes in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks once again to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read and review an eARC.

I really enjoyed reading this book through the eyes and ears of a 12 year old girl called Lesley her view point was so compelling to read and she kept you enthralled right up until the last page.

I’d never heard of a place like the The Homes before and I was fascinated with how it was laid out and managed. The afterword explained a little more about the real life children’s homes that used to be run like a little village that housed over a thousand children at a time.

Lesley and Jonesy are like two little lost souls who have nothing and nobody else only each other and then when other girls in The Homes start being killed they take it upon themselves to find the culprit. It’s such a thrilling ride with 2 Huge twists that i didn’t see coming at all . I urge everyone to read this when it comes out!.
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This was ok. Was a very quick read for me. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to review
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Cozy and Heartfelt but with a sinister undertone The Homes was such an emotional book. I LOVED how hardy and tough Lesley and Joansy were. Incredibly brave and completely fearless of taking on trying to solve the disappearance and murder of other girls from The Homes. The confidence of them was amazing. I loved that. I guess when you live in a home with hundred of other children you’ve got to be bullsey and these two definitely had that! 

This book was a murder mystery but that for me was a secondary storyline to the relationships that these girls had with each other and the struggles that they faced being cared for children. 

Did I enjoy this book? Yes I did! But for me it was a little on the tame side 🙈 I’m not sure what kind of sick individual that makes me when we’re talking about a book about a children’s home in the 60’s but there we go 🙈
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Firstly, I am thankful for the opportunity to have received a free advanced copy of this Ebook through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Told in the point of view of 12 year old Lesley, who lives in a village full of unwanted or abandoned children.  It’s the only life she has ever known since she come there as a baby.  She is smart and quick witted and survives with the love and friendship from her best friend who lives in the same cottage.

This should be a safe place for the children to grow up, but then one of the older girls is discovered murdered and not long after another girl’s body is also found.

 Lesley knows she has to find out who is responsible and make them pay for what they have done. 

I enjoyed this book and it held my interest throughout.  I rate this eBook 4 stars.

#TheHomes #NetGalley
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A genuinely brilliant read, incredibly written and the difficult subject matter is handled delicately and thoughtfully. The characters were wonderfully drawn and as a reader getting to know Lesley and be on her investigations with her was fantastically gripping if heartbreaking. A difficult subject handled so well. Highly recommend, the story has really stayed with me.
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Thanks to Viper, Serpent’s Tail and Profile books, I received a free review copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest unedited feedback.

This story is told by Lesley, a resident at a purpose-built, self-contained village for unwanted and abandoned children, in 1960's Scotland; 'The Homes'.

It's meant to be a safe place for them to grow up, cared for and nurtured to adulthood. Most of the adults try their best, but some don't, and use the Homes as a place to satisfy themselves and take out the frustrations of their lives on the children.

Lesley is special. She's intelligent, quick-witted and physically and emotionally tougher than she thinks. The author has created one of the most 'real' characters I've read in a very long time. As we follow her daily thoughts, dreams and hopes, we get to really know her, in a way that not many writers can pull off.

Things take a dark turn when one of the young female residents of the Homes is found murdered, then another is found soon after. All thoughts turn to who could be responsible, and why would they be killing young girls. Lesley and her best friend Jonesy decide to do the polis's job for them, when it appears they are incapable of tracking the killer down.

Things then take another, even darker turn. Something happens that really made my jaw drop, and brought tears to my eyes. Such is the skill with which the characters are brought to life, and their voices 'heard', that what happens absolutely shook me. Well done to the author!

The killer is eventually caught, I didn't guess their identity, others might, but although the murder mystery aspect is an important part of why I enjoyed this book so much, the real joy for me was getting to know Lesley, and all the challenges she faces, and they are many.

I could quite happily read about her further, I want to know what Lesley did next, how did her life turn out, did she achieve her aims, where is she now? Surely there's no greater thing a novelist can do than make their characters really live and breathe.

Five stars from me, best novel I've read this year, cannot recommend highly enough.
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The Homes is a moving and lyrical thriller… both moving and gripping!  Fascinating… A fantastic  story that captures your attention from beginning to end
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