A story of the struggles faced by the poor and in midst of all this misery blossoms a love between two completely different people. This is the story of Phoebe Hawley. Phoebe is twenty-four, smart, sassy and determined to give her family the stability and comfort they need.
The Hawley family has Phoebe's parents, her twelve-year old sister Maydean, five-year old brother Billy-boy and another mentally loose sister Erlene. Her oldest brother is married and lives with his wife. Ever since her family lost their jobs in the cotton mill life has been tough for them. They stay with her brother whose wife always makes sure to remind them of her generosity while she makes their life miserable. Instead of meekly sitting home and being witness to the misery of her family at the hands of her sister-in-law, Phoebe packs her sister, Maydean and brother, Billy-boy and leaves seeking a new job and a new place for her family.
An unfortunate accident leaves her at odds with the taciturn and money pinching, Gage Morgan and so begins her adventure. After the first glance at Gage's place Phoebe is sure that she has found the perfect place for her family and Gage is also not hard on the eyes! But Gage has been hurt once and no longer trusts women. He sees right through all Phoebe's well practiced charm and manipulations. But is sure disturbed by this rail-thin, not beautiful in the conventional way, sharp-mouthed woman who is too willy to control and is slowly making her place in his heart and in his life. Phoebe, on the other hand, is affected deeply and equally confused by Gage's multiple personalities and his well endowed good looks.
Can Phoebe succeed in her plan of wooing Gage and thus, reserving a place for her family in his house?
Or is she slowly falling in love and ready to take the risk at the expense of her heart and her future plans for her family?
Can Gage let go of his past and open his heart for Phoebe?
What will happen to the Hawley family?
Can they find a home for themselves?
Finding Home is a delightful story and pretty different from any book that I have read so far. I loved Jackie's simple style of writing. She creates a vivid portrait of scenarios where their is love, sadness, sacrifices, hope, optimism, care, loss and a myriad of emotions beautifully splashed to give a colorful story of two people and in turn their families that come together to build a future of mutual care and love.
The language that is spoken in the book was an entirely new version of the English that I know and it was kind of fun to read and learn that somewhere on the planet this particular form is common and not as alien as it was to me! :)
Phoebe is unlike any other heroine that I have encountered before. She is not the picture perfect, simpering heroines of most romantic stories but is a strong willed, independent woman of today. I was touched by Phoebe's love and care for her family and her selflessness in keeping their interests before her own. All her manipulations, craftiness and tough attitude is only in hope of her family's better future. She knows that she too thin, too red headed and with no conventional beauty like other women but has ample of Hawley pride and backbone to endure any hardship and work through her problems. The dialogues between her and Maydean and Billy-boy are fun and very entertaining. The interactions and bickering between Phoebe and Gage is romantic and entertained me thoroughly. I was impressed by Phoebe's determination and optimism even in the face of dire adversity and the most hopeless of situations. She is a fighter and a caring and loving sister and daughter. The way she transforms Gage's daughter, Dorie from the ill-mannered and rude child that she was to a well groomed, happy little girl through her love was admirable.
Gage is wounded and looks heartless but is not so. He opens his house for Phoebe and her siblings when Billy-boy gets ill and even allows them free reign of the house. I felt sad for him and desperately prayed that he get a forever kind of love which would heal and make him forget the past! His vulnerability and uncertainty to the chance of ever having love in his life was touching and made me turn the pages even quicker than I was already doing (like a super fast train) to see if he did get it! :)
The only downside to this whole awesome experience is the book's cover which doesn't do justice to this beautiful and heartfelt story. The cover gives the illusion that the book is some kind of paranormal saga with a heroine with fluorescent green eyes etc. I just wished the cover was more appealing and did justice to the content within.
Other than this, everything else is top notch from the story to the characterization to the story telling to the writing. This book was first published in 1987 and is now made available in kindle format. A must read story perfect for a lazy afternoon and as a mood lifter. I give Finding Home a 4 out of 5 and recommend that you read it.
This story has also won the well deserving "RWA Maggie Award for Long Contemporary". :)
I received this book as a gift from the author, Jackie Weger and I am very thankful to her for the gift. The above review is my personal and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.
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