Bethany Miller's Reviews > Homecoming

Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
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Jun 06, 2012

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bookshelves: royal-may-2012
Read from May 22 to June 05, 2012

When Liza Tillerman abandons her four children in a mall parking lot, thirteen year-old Dicey must come up with a plan for herself and her younger brothers and sister. Dicey knows that if they involve the police, they will more than likely end up being separated and put into foster homes. The family had been on their way to see their mother’s Aunt Cilla, and Dicey had been in charge of reading the map and knew the address. Because they have only seven dollars, not enough for bus tickets, she decides that she and the children should walk to Aunt Cilla’s house, a distance that she at first estimates will take them two or three days to cover. Their journey ends up taking much longer than that and what they find when they finally arrive at Aunt Cilla’s is not exactly what they had been hoping for. Through it all Dicey must show maturity far beyond her thirteen years in order to keep the family safe, and above all, keep them together.

Dicey Tillerman is one of those characters that you can’t help rooting for. Though her maturity at the age of only thirteen sometimes strains credibility, it is hard not admire her strength and perseverance. The one adult that she and her siblings could count on has abandoned them, but she never succumbs to anger or self-pity, and her willingness to fight to keep her family together is admirable. The other characters in the book are also well developed; Gram Tillerman, in particular, is a complex and memorable character. The book’s biggest downfall is that at close to 400 pages, it is simply too long. The plot moved slowly at times especially in part 1 though things picked up quite a bit in part 2. Readers who stick with it until the end will certainly be curious enough about what comes next for the Tillermans to want to read the second book in the series. Homecoming was originally published in 1981 and has been reissued (along with the rest of the series) with a new cover design, which is an improvement but still not all that eye-catching. Though the book is presumably set in the early 1980s, there is nothing in it that makes it seem dated or old. Overall, this is a good clean read that is appropriate for middle or high school fans of realistic and family-oriented fiction.

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Reading Progress

06/03/2012 page 300

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