If I'm going to be completely honest, this isn't a book I would normally pick up. Although the cover is beautiful, with it's open inviting sky and alluring sunlit glow, there is no promise of magic or adventure. No evil wizards threatening the purity of a medieval land. No ancient queens or dashing rouges. No mysteries whispering from the past.
But despite all that, my hometown was all abuzz about this local author and I just had to swipe up my copy and see what all the fuss was about.
On My Way Home is about a young girl from a small town with big dreams. Just after graduating high school, her bright future is shattered when tragedy strikes and takes her on an incredible emotional journey in which no one could have ever been prepared.
Newcomer author Allie Walker beautifully illustrates the stages of grief in this heart-wrenching coming of age story. She makes the reader examine their own relationships with their mother, father, sisters, and boyfriend. I found myself wondering if I would have handled things as well as Gabriella, the main character, or differently, in some burdensome situations.
This book inspired me to write letters to my daughter; to hug her more, and to hold on a few moments longer. It inspired me to not take people for granted or judge them. Someone like me, who is not into super sappy love stories, will enjoy the subtle romance, but feel that the story moves a little slow - without a lot of excitement to move it along. I was disappointed when the author skipped over a scene I had been looking forward to.
Emotionally driven, the reader is encouraged to keep tissues close if they don't like tear stains on the pages. A friend of mine joked that you can flip to any random page and Gabriella would be sobbing. But as you go along with her on her journey home, I challenge you not to shed a few tears with her.
* * * * *