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D.G. ~Shameless Reader~

Book blogger, audiobook lover and shamelessly honest reviewer. Mostly read fantasy, mystery, romance, UF and YA but all genres welcome.

An emotional story with real life characters

Already Home - Susan Mallery, Terri Clark Linden

Already Home was a pleasant surprise for me, the kind of book that I wouldn’t have thought I liked but ended up enjoying a lot.

I’ve never read anything by Susan Mallery and I picked this one up because I liked the cover. I’m glad I knew from the beginning this wasn’t a romance (Ms. Mallery’s usual genre) because if I thought it was, I’d have given up on it within the first few chapters. I’m glad I didn’t.

The beginning of the book was slow and a bit too deliberate. It deals mostly with Jenna opening her store and making tons of (stupid) mistakes. But once the problems with the store are resolved and we get to the part where Jenna meets her birth parents, things get a lot better.

One of the things I liked about this book is that sometimes I didn’t like how a character was behaving but I understood where they were coming from. Like real people, characters would surprise me by acting in unexpected ways (both good and bad.)

My least favorite character was Jenna, a spoiled brat who didn’t appreciate her luck in life. Although I imagine that meeting your birth parents all of a sudden can be very traumatic, I couldn’t understand all her complains. Unlike my brother in law’s birth mother, it wasn’t as if her biological parents showed up to ask for money; they were great people who just wanted to get to know her. Jenna acts like a sullen teenager for a good chunk of the book and after a while Serenity (birth mother) starts threading on Beth’s toes (adoptive mother) but Jenna never does the adult thing and has a serious conversation with Serenity about her behavior. She prefers just to whine.

The narration was…interesting. Overall it was good but sometimes I felt that the narrator wasn’t portraying the right emotion. At some point, Violet is thinking about her horrible past and the narrator makes it seem like a trip to the movies. I don’t know if this was intentional so the book wouldn’t sink into darkness or if we are left to understand that Violet has come to terms with her youth. Regardless, it creeped me out a bit.

Overall, an emotional story with real life characters. The pace is a bit sedate so I would only recommend it to those of you who are into contemporary fiction.