Cover Image: No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

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Member Reviews

This was a good read. Jewel has returned home to Pueblo, Colorado with her son, and her sick best friend. Jewell ran away from home almost twenty years ago with a muscian. She was madly in love with him, but he was never able to conquer his demons. He is now dead and Jewel can't afford to help Michael with his terminal illness and her lost son Shane. As luck would have it, Jewel inherits her aunts home and so she goes back. She worries about rebuilding bridges with her family, helping Michael with his illness, stopping her son from the reckless path he has started down, and even new friendships.

I enjoy Barbara O'Neal's books. The main character is often introspective and working out this own issues and striving for something better. The writing style is easy-to-read and the plot will give you food-fo-thought.

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I’ve read several other novels by this author and have absolutely loved them. Unfortunately, No Place Like Home was a bit of a miss for me. O’Neal’s beautifully descriptive writing had me craving some home cooked family meals with the company of a large boisterous Italian family. However, the romance, main character, and conflict all seemed rather contrived and one dimensional. I definitely will read other books by O’Neal but this one was not one of my favorites.

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This is basically a book about friendship and family, however add in a very sexual deprived character, then you have this book.

This was a slow, hard to get into book, which actual is a re-release of the original in 2002.

I was really expecting more out of this book and honestly, disappointed.

Thank you NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for my E-ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Barbara O'Neal is the queen of reuniting families after being gone for 20 years. No Place Like Home is No Exception.
While nothing can ever top When We Were Mermaids, I'm always happy to read a book about family exploration, returning to what was once home.

Jewel Sabatino, returns home, after a brief stint of stardom. We learn about her childhood, her children, family relationships, death, and her body size - being a size 14 is mentioned numerous times throughout the book.

All in all, if you are looking for a a genre of this kind - O'Neal is the one to turn to.

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If there are two things I love about this author's books it is her way of fleshing out her characters, and describing her settings in such a way that you feel them as much as you see them. This book is no exception. I loved Jewel's ease with her sexuality and absolutely fell in love with Michael. Their friendship is the one everyone wants in their own life - true soul siblings. I also loved Jordan - she's the sister or best friend I would love to have!
The story revolves around Jewel's decision to move back to the town she grew up in and her extended family, due to finances and her need to support Michael through the end of his life. Most of her family are delighted to see her return, but others are uncomfortable with it, especially her father from whom she has been estranged since she left as a teenager. Jewel is also negotiating her relationship with her 17 year old son as she comes to terms with his growing up and wanting to stretch his wings, while she dances around a tentative relationship with Michael's brother. And finally, I look forward to the recipes that the author slips in.

I think the cover is very uninspiring and if it wasn't for the fact that I know I like Barbara O'Neal's books I would not have picked this up. Ultimately though, this was a good read with an easy writing style about complex relationships, compromise, and letting go.

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I couldn’t put it down. Loved everything about this book. Be prepared to cry toward the end. This author has a way with words that keeps you captivated. Great book!

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Barbara O’Neal’s books have quickly become an automatic read for me. This book was first published in 2002, and revised in 2024.

I love how some books seem to enter your life just when you need THAT sort of read. This book was that for me. If you follow me, you know I love a good emotional read. This book hit all the feels. O’Neal paints a picture of the Sabatino family, a tight knit, large Italian family. Jewel, the wild child, returns home with her teenage son and her gravely ill best friend. Estranged from her Dad, what transpires next more than she could ever dream of.

Family is at the center of this book, both the family we are born into and the family that we choose. I so enjoyed the big family and how there was so much love going on behind the scenes. Friends that become our family when times are tough and are always there for us, no matter what. Jewel made a tough decision at a young age, and had to live with the fallout. Things come full circle in a heartbreaking way bringing with it an unexpected but heartwarming ending. This story was beautifully written and so relatable. Very rarely do I read a story that I fall in love with all the characters. There is a tough facade to all but a softness underneath. This is a love story of parents, family, friends and lovers that come into our lives at perfect times. Jewel is so unapologetic with the decisions she made in the past, she owns it and makes no excuses. But she has grown up and now knows what she needs to do. She is in no rush and let’s things play out organically, which I appreciated. This shows how differently we look at things and people at different points in our lives.

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for this ARC. This is my honest opinion.

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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book. This is an updated version that was previously released 20 years ago and it held up very well. Barbara O'Neal is one of my go to authors for a heartfelt book. This was no different! Lovely family driven storyline and memorable characters. Definitely recommend

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This novel will definitely be one of my favourites this year!
I got lost in this wonderful story that is beautifully written. It had my emotions going in every direction.
A multigenerational family saga, love story, and deeply moving novel about love and loss, and the bonds of family and friends.
Highly Recommended!

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for an arc of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

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I always enjoy books by this author - they’re nice to get lost in. This was another good one, I enjoyed it.

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"No Place Like Home" tells the story of Jewel, who left her traditional Italian Catholic family in Pueblo at 17 to follow her rock-star partner, Billy, and her best friend, Michael, to New York. After two decades and various challenges, including raising her son Shane, she returns to Pueblo to seek reconciliation and rebuild connections with her estranged family. The book explores themes of personal growth, redemption, and the enduring strength of family ties, with richly detailed settings and believable characters. Through heartfelt moments and emotional struggles, Jewel finds new love and a sense of belonging, making it a journey of forgiveness and healing.

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A gorgeous tale about the complex nature of love, both platonic & romantic, & with family. O'Neal really captures the difficulty of parental relationships in particular & the confusing nature of pride vs wanting to let things go. She describes the protagonist's home town so richly, it was really easy to feel like you were there with her.

My only criticism was Jewel's constant references to being unhappy with her body size. It felt very dated & she was clearly a relatively slim woman & very attractive; she put herself down so frequently & that got tiring.

The ending of the book was beautiful though - it was so poignant & hopeful.

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Love, family drama, and a little bit of food thrown in. I always enjoy Barbara O'Neal's books and this one wasn't any different. While the plot isn't something amazing, it is still a solid, entertaining read.

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Jewel is going home. Aunt Sylvia passed and left her a home and some sizable acreage in her hometown. She is taking her best friend Michael who is dying of AIDS, and her son a fledgling musician who gets his talent from his dead father. It is a tough move. She hasn't been there in over twenty years and is estranged from her father who opposed her leaving with a tough guy musician just after high school graduation. Jewel, after all, had so much potential. She grew up immersed in cooking in the family restaurant surrounded by noisy Italians who loved and lived large. Food is big in this book. The plot is interesting and the characters are appealing but the food and recipes are a large part of the lives of the characters and are in the book as well. Michael, the AIDS afflicted friend has a very appealing younger brother who shows up to spend time with his brother in his last days. He too has father problems. Jewel and he bond but the bond is fragile and depends on the healing of the heart. Loved this book and Barbara O'Neal's storytelling as always is fantastic. Thanks to #NetGalley#NoPlaceLIkeHome for the opportunity to read and review this book. Find my review on

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A heartbreaking story, and so grounding. Moving back to her childhood hometown of Pueblo after over 20 years, Jewel faces reality head on. Having left Pueblo as a tear-away teenager on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle, Jewel leads a full life over the years with her musician partner before his death. and their son. She inherits her Great Aunt’s house back in her hometown and makes the momentous decision to return, taking with her Shane her son, and her very dearest friend Michael who is dying of AIDS.

This is a novel about the strength of family ties and the saying ‘blood is thicker than water’ is so true, where past discretions are forgiven and families reunited at times of turmoil, both happy and sad. It’s also a story of the meaning of love and how it can flourish in unlikely circumstances. A very engaging book; once started, hard to put down. The only thing I would change would be to stop before the last few pages - I like the idea that there is always hope for the future!

My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Lake Union for this e-copy in exchange for a review

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One of my favorite things about Barbara O’Neal’s books is how much depth she gives her characters. Her stories are about the people, with storylines weaved in rather than the opposite. With this, at times the morals within the story can be a bit grating, but this is all a part of the characters depth. This story weaves together the lives of a family, biological and chosen, and the way they navigate illness and loss.

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A re-release in 2024, No Place Like Home, is about connecting back to one's own self and connecting again to your family. It's also about found family and knowing what's important in the long run.

Jewel left her home with a musician irrespective of her father's wishes a while ago. Now, she comes back to a home left to her by her aunt with a teenage son and her best friend who is dying. She has to set up herself in a new place and reconnect with her family. Apart from that, she needs to accept herself the way she is, wrinkles, and all. Enters Malachi and her new adventure begins.

The story starts a little bit sluggish, and I was not sure at the beginning about this book. But, by the end, I definitely had some tears ready to flow. It's a beautiful story, and the characters are so wonderful. They are imperfectly perfect, and I like them that way.

Thank you, Lake Union Publishing, for this book.

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Twenty Year Old Book Holds Up Well. First off, to be clear: This new (2024) edition is an updated and revised (with apparently *some* new content) version of a book originally released over 20 years ago. So some of you may have already own/ have read this, and I know there are at least some out there who "only read new releases". But for everyone *else*... this is still a damn good story, 20 years later.

In at least some ways, it is actually a callback to a different era, the era of RENT when friends dying of AIDS was still a major zeitgeist moment and a reality for many, particularly many in urban areas. (I say this because growing up in the exurbs of Atlanta in the era the book was originally published, this just wasn't a reality that was seen much in my area.) This plotline provides both some of the gravitas of the book - addiction being the primary other source - and the meetcute - the male lead is the brother of the friend dying of AIDS.

The romance side of the book is also well done, granted with a lot of lust and pent up sexual frustration as its start and with quite a bit of bedroom action (not always in the bedroom) throughout - once things get going there. Which, again, will be a turn off for some and a selling point for others.

Ultimately, this is a story of a lot of flawed individuals making their way through life as best they can in the situations they find themselves, and this is where the story particularly shines.

Very much recommended.

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I’m pretty stingy with five star reviews. This one has everything I want in a book - the love and conflict of family, luscious sexual tension, true love of dear friends, and recipes. Oh, and it made me cry.

This is a revised edition previously issued under O’Neal’s pen name, Barbara Samuels. I’m so glad it was brought to my attention this way, because I thought I had read all of her books.

I especially loved how Jewel, the main character, experienced life through all her senses, with beautiful descriptions of scents (especially as the scents pertained to each person), food, weather, and light.

Family, recipes, good sexual tension - yes, please

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I love Barbara O’Neal … she has a way of telling a beautiful story with excellent character development . “No Place Like Home” is a wonderful story about family , found family , and the dynamics that bind us .. it’s a beautiful story that will keep you intrigued until the very end .

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