The Journey Home
by Michael Baron
Publisher: The Story Plant
Release: May 2010
Price: $5.99 (Kindle: $4.79)
What I Liked:
Any book that has cooking as a major part of the relational story is such a huge hit with me, so I loved that. I enjoyed the fact that the food was part of reconciliation and also that it could be non-sexual and still engage all the senses. I really appreciated this. He writes about food like someone who knows it well, like an old friend.
The storyline of this book is very engaging, and had me hooked from the beginning (which is good, because I felt like the beginning of the book was weak... in fact, if I hadn't read the back and decided I was going to love it, I may not have stuck through the entire book). Very Nicholas Sparks-esque in the best sense of that comparison. The characters were engaging and the story poignant. Michael Baron, writing under a pseudonym, has now finished three (soon to be four) books that are being compared to Sparks' works, and I must admit, at first, I was skeptical. But I can definitely see the basis for the comparison. Equal parts of sadness and hope. I think this is an interesting book that a multitude of people could enjoy.
Overall, Baron is not quite the same caliber writer as Sparks. (Not to mention the fact that there are typos on the back cover of the book... not his fault, but still, fail.) But... and this is a big But, I was definitely engaged in the story, and I thought the story arc and the ending were both well-done. Plus, I'm just a sucker for a foodie story. :-) I'm interested to read some of Baron's other books. He has another coming out in the fall that looks very interesting. I think I'll read more before making a sound judgment. This book was a good read.
Joseph, a man in his late thirties, awakens disoriented and uneasy in a place he doesn't recognize. He sets out on a journey to find his home with no sense of where he's going and only the precious, indelible vision of the woman he loves to guide him.
Antoinette is an elderly woman in an assisted living facility who has retreated inside her head. There, her body and mind haven't betrayed her. There, she's a young newlywed with a husband who dotes on her and an entire life of dreams to live. There, she is truly home.
Warren, Antoinette's son, is a man in his early forties going through the toughest year of his life. With far too much time on his hands, he decides to try to recreate his memories of home by attempting to cook his mother's greatest dishes and eating them with her.
Joseph, Antoinette, and Warren are three people on different searches for home. How they connect with each other at this critical stage in their lives, is the foundation for the kind of profound and deeply moving story we'e come to expect from Michael Baron. (from the back of the book)