I’ve just arrived back ‘home’ after a week’s holiday with my parents and brother. We’ve been back together for seven days, living as a family of four again, which we haven’t really done for several years now.
Coming back to my own place this evening felt strange. I’ve lived alone for two and a half years now and I love my own space, but it always seems to take some adjustment at first. I have to learn how to be on my own again, adjust to the silence and the stillness. I have to re-learn to think of this place as my home.
I could get rather melancholy about it, but I know this feeling will pass and soon I’ll crave the time alone. But it got me thinking about books that I’ve read that have themes of home and family; that have moments that feel a little bit like I do now.
So, I’ve picked out six of my favourite books that deal with the idea of ‘home’ in different ways:
I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
I loved the idea of living in a castle when I was younger. In reality, sisters Rose and Cassandra find themselves so trapped in poverty that Rose jumps at the chance for a new life somewhere else. When Rose leaves home, followed shortly by her father and step-mother, there are these long, lonely pages where Cassandra misses her family terribly. I really felt for her as she tried to come to terms with her own complicated feelings, lost without anyone to really confide in.
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
After living with a harsh, abusive father, Lily runs away with housekeeper Rosaleen and stumbles across a place that was special to her late mother. Finally, she’s able to find somewhere to call home with a group of people who really care for her.
Hello, Goodbye and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
I read this one recently. Clare and Aidan have twelve hours before they leave for College on opposite sides of the US and have to decide if they’ll stay together or not. I felt this book captured really well the ‘runaway train’ feeling as the hours tick down to their departures. It reminded me a lot of when I left home for University, with all its uncertainty and unpreparedness.
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
Again, this books deals with leaving home for University/College, with Remy heading off to Stanford at the end of the book. However, Remy can’t wait to get away from her mother, new step-father and her small town. She’s hoping to leave with as few ties to the place as possible. Of course, things get complicated in the shape of Dexter! (My favourite book boyfriend).
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
There is a lot going on in this Rainbow Rowell novel but I found the relationship between Lincoln and his mother interesting. His sister pesters him to move out, but he’s more reluctant. This book is a real coming-of-age tale about, among other things, finding independence (even if the twenty-something protagonist is a little older than you’d normally associate with this type of theme).
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
I love this book! I’ve chosen it because of this adorable quote, which I think is a lovely but very different perspective and a nice thought to end on:
“Because I was right. For the two of us, home isn’t a place, it’s a person. And we’re finally home.”