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Home by Amanda Berriman
Welcome to life through the eyes and also words of four-year-old Jessica Petrowski. Both little Jessica and her mum will become your new heroes. Home the debut novel by Amanda Berriman is nothing short of extraordinary. This is an extremely moving story of a single mother coping with life and also trying to bring up Jessica and her baby brother Toby.
The family live in what can only be described as an appalling flat not fit to bring up a very young family. The stairs to their ‘home’ are smelly as Jessica knows only too well. This is the story of their lives through little Jessica’s eyes. And I will warn you now Jessica will steal your heart. This little lady sees and hears everything. She knows the ‘Money man’ comes to call and he is not at all nice. Jessica’s world is ever changing and she is growing up fast.
The story of this family almost certainly can be any story involving a single mum living in shocking housing conditions and trying to cope with everyday life and bring up her family. Jessica’s father left the family home to move to Poland. Leaving them to cope alone. Then one night Jessica wakes up to find the green man hurting her little brother, in fact he is a paramedic and Toby is very poorly with ‘new monia’ and has to be rushed to hospital and this is where also Tina is admitted with the same illness. Jessica is now separated from her mum and baby brother for a number of days and has to stay with a foster family while Tina recovers.
All Jessica wants is for her mum and Toby to go to a home with a garden and a trampoline. But they have to go back to the disgusting flat with the smelly stairs. Now Tina faces eviction from what she calls their home. Now what will happen to them. Who will take them in. Jessica sees her mummy crying a lot and cannot understand why she is so sad. We are also introduced to her new best friend Paige, but Paige has a secret and this secret will have shocking consequences come the end of the story.
An incredible story that will move anyone who reads this book. For Tina trying to cope with so much and not at all trusting of many if anyone at all. She is a real hero in every sense of the word and yet she does not want help from anyone. But sometimes in life we all need a helping hand when we are down on our knees as life seems to grind you down. I loved the characters that Amanda Berriman has created here, and Jessica’s voice will live with me for a very long time to come. I wanted the family to pull through and you will be rooting for them as well.
A powerful and moving story of poverty and also abuse but also a story of a mother’s love for Jessica and Toby that shines through despite the desperate heartache. A story many will want to read. My congratulations to Amanda Berriman on a sensational debut novel. A new voice that I am looking forward to hearing more from in the future. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
My thanks to Sophie Christopher for the review copy of Home by Amanda Berriman
Home by Amanda Berriman is published by Doubleday and is published on 8th February 2018 and is available NOW through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops
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