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4.38  ·  Rating details ·  716 ratings  ·  194 reviews

Meet Jesika, aged four and a half. The most extraordinary narrator of 2018.

She lives in a flat with her mother and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows their flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows she shouldn't draw on the peeling wallpaper or touch the broken window. And she knows she loves her mummy and baby brother Toby.

She does not know that the

Kindle Edition, 348 pages
Published February 8th 2018 by Transworld Digital
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4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  716 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Louise Wilson
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jesika is four and a half. She lives in a flat with her mother and and baby brother and she knows a lot. She knows her flat is high up and the stairs are smelly. She knows not to draw on the wallpaper or touch the broken window. She does not know that their landlord is going to evict them and that Toby's cough is going to get much worse. Or that her best friend, Paige, has a secret that will explode their world!

This story is told by a confused and vunerable child. By the time you realise what th
I decided to read this as it was recommended to me, and what a read it turned out to be. I found it almost impossible to put down.

The whole of Home is narrated by a four and a half year old character called Jesika. At first I found it so cute to read. The way Jesika spoke and her view of what’s going on around her was endearing. However, that amusement quickly wore off for me, as I started to imagine the life of poverty she was facing, living in poor conditions and struggling to eat enough food.
Joanne Robertson
Sometimes you read a book and you dread having to write your review as you know that whatever you try to say, you are never going to be able to convey exactly how much the book affected you. This is one of those books. When I finished it I knew that I had just read possibly the best book of 2018 and probably one of my most favourite books of all time. It’s one I can’t even bring myself to put on my bookshelf yet as I’m not quite ready to let go of Jesika just yet. This beautifully written, deepl ...more
Karen ⊰✿
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, uno_2018
Told solely through the eyes of Jesika (4.5 years old) we learn all about what home is to her. It is a single mother, a father who lives in Poland, and a toddler brother. It is a home where she has never been to a cafe, hardly ever eats chips, where the windows can't be opened, the front door is broken, the hot water is often not on and the mean "Money Man" is threatening to evict them. It is also a home with a mother who loves her unconditionally and where she feels safe.
Then mum gets some new
J.A. Ironside
ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review



In ‘Home’ Amanda Berriman manages to combine several things I have only the most tenuous tolerance for in literature and do it in such a way as to make me absolutely love the result. I generally dislike present tense narrative but I was halfway through the book before I even noticed it was in present tense – always a sign that the author is in full control and you as a reader are safe in her hands. I'm also not very fond of inadequate n
Seldom do you come across a debut novel that has such an impact as “Home“. Written entirely from the viewpoint of a tiny, four-year-old girl, the novel touches on issues with important social observations. At first I was taken aback by the way she spoke, but after a few pages I could actually hear her little voice, and the pages flew by.

Jesika Petrowski lives is a run-down, derelict apartment building. She lives with her Mummy, Tina, and her baby brother, Toby. Their flat is a damp, squalid plac
This book is a difficult read, and I didn’t realise it at first. By the time I did, I felt like I couldn’t put it down. It’s like Room - not necessarily in content, but in the way that it’s told by a child, a child who is so vulnerable and confused and who seems so real. I’ve read the other reviews for this book (only 3 so far), and they’ve said the same thing: by the time you realise what it’s about, you can’t stop reading because you owe it to Jesika to find out what happens. I know it’s a wor ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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Wow, what an emotional, but at times heartwarming, read! Told from the perspective of four year old Jesika, with everything seen through her eyes and conveyed in her lovely and oh-so-innocent voice, (pronunciation mistakes and all!), you really get a feel for what life in a disadvantaged family must be like for a young girl who doesn't understand how hard things really are for her mum.

There were times when I found Home really difficult to read, as often you kn
Tracy Fenton
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Review: Home is an extraordinary debut novel and yes there will be comparisons to Emma Donoghue’s Room because the narrator, Jesika is 4 and a half years old, however unlike Room I instantly connected with Jesika and as a parent my motherly instincts went into overdrive.

Jesika lives with her mummy, Tina and her baby brother, Toby in a flat full of damp, mould, broken windows, cracks in the bath, unreliable heating and an unscrupulous landlord.

Jesika is the most adorable, insightful, excitable
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Home is told through the point of view of four year old Jesika. Jesika lives in a flat with her mum and younger brother Toby. Her mum is struggling to make ends meet and Jesika struggles at times to understand her mum's moods. All she knows is that she loves her mum and doesn't want to live anywhere other than with her.

This story really makes you realise how lucky some of us are. We all have constant money worries but for Jesika's mum she really is on the bread line not knowing how she is going
Rebecca If Only I Could Read Faster
When I read the blurb for Home I knew that I wanted to read it, I then started to hear from others who had read it and they all seemed to love it so I was even more determined to read it. And I’m so pleased that I did.

From literally the very first page I was hooked. The book is narrated by Jesika, a four year old who lives with her Mummy and little brother Toby after her Father moved to Poland, never to be heard from again. Jesika’s Mum is struggling with life, she doesn’t have enough money and
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Home by Amanda Berriman is an emotional tale, told by 4-and-a-half-year-old Jesika. The story tells of her life with her mum Tina and her younger brother Toby and going to Pre-school. They live in a dump of a flat, with a broken window and a boiler that keeps breaking down and Tina with little, or no money. And the scary man that comes trying to evict them. They survive with the help of some friends.
I was gripped from the very first page. I thought it was expertly written and the author was ver
Between The Pages Book Club (Gemma M)
This story will tug at your heartstrings and will probably be very different from what you usually read. Home is told through a child called Jesika who is four years old, which some readers may find hard to read due to the child’s dialogue but as a mother to a toddler myself I had no problem reading this story.

Home will make you open your eyes to a child’s perspective of life and your actions towards them which I am sure we can all learn and relate to especially us parents. I fell in love with l
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Home is "a safe place, a place where one lives, especially together as a family, it is meant to be a place of affection, joy and happiness, a valued refuge and resting place, a habitation offering security and protection, where friendships flourish."

I can only agree, a home is supposed to be all of the above, it's a happy place which is why it's probably so heartbreaking when you see that one or more of these conditions are broken. There's a lot going on in Jesika, Toby and their mum Tina's life
Breakaway Reviewers
Little children have big ears.

Jesika is four and a half and lives with her mummy and brother, Toby. They live in a slum flat with mould and broken windows. Jesikas’ mum and brother are taken to the hospital and she is put into foster care.

Jesikas’ mum meets an old friend and her daughter and Jesika desperately wants to be Paige’s friend, but Paige is a frightened child who cannot express or tell anyone anything about the horrible games her uncle makes her play.

A story of modern-day poverty told
When I got to 19% through this book, there was a little niggle in the back of my mind. I thought I knew which way this book was going.
I have now got to 31% in the book and I'm sorry to say that I'm going to stop reading. It's not just because of the topic either. I was really struggling with reading a book that is from the point of view of a 4 and a half year old. At first, I thought that it would be interesting and a bit of a personal challenge but Jesika just annoyed me.

I realise that I'm ve
Katy Noyes
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stress-inducing child's point-of-view story, with themes of poverty and child abuse

I say 'stress inducing' for I have NEVER felt such a need to plunge into the pages of a novel and pull out a character, save them from the unfolding plot, wrap them in my arms and keep them safe, warn them... it was hard to bear. Especially as a parent, and because the protagonist was also narrating, a little girl, even younger than that of 'Room'.

This might even top Room in my opinion, for its narration - Jack w
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I don't know if I've ever found it harder to write a review. And the reason is because I'm not sure how I can do this book justice. I want to go back to some of the books I've given five stars and take a star away as I will now judge all books against this one. Amanda Berriman has managed something amazing - she has created the voice of a four and a half year old girl, made it credible, made it funny, made it real and made it so that her telling of the story breaks your heart then mends it in so ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley. ]

This started as a bit of an annoying read, due to the ‘child voice’ narrating it—it wasn’t so easy for me to get into it. Jesika is a difficult narrator to contend with, in that, on top of being unreliable because she sees the world through her own filters, those filters are very much naïve and different from an adult’s. The way she perceives and interprets events wasn’t always easy to follow, and the fact that the words she used weren’t necess
Cathy Speight
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh Jesika, Jesika, Jesika. How I want to dive into the words and grab you and cuddle and kiss you. I defy anyone not to love this adorable four-and-a-half-year-old little treasure.

I couldn’t quite fathom how an adult could get into the mind of a child so young and use her voice to tell her story, but, by golly, she didn’t half do it well. You fall in love with Jesika right from the start: she has you in a vice-like grip from the beginning and within a very short time, you’re thinking, I don’t wa
Feb 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 2018-releases

"Home" is Amanda Berriman's debut novel and I knew I want to read it as soon as I've received an email from NetGalley with a short extract from it. It is not the easiest book - storyline - wise - but it is also a read that will have you gripped and that won't let you go."Home" was not the easiest read. It made my stomach turn and I wanted to slap one of the characters with my bare hands. It was heart - breaking, probably because it was so close to reality, and I think the fact that the author ha
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
EDIT: A year after my original review and I still think about this book regularly. It has set a benchmark few books reach and to this day remains the best 'insight into the mind of' style books I've ever read. One I still recommend regularly.


Disclaimer: Pre-release copy won in competition by Penguin Books.

Broken childhood stories are dime-a-dozen these days. Bookshops have entire walls devoted to them. So why should you care about Home by Amanda Berriman? What makes it any
Katherine Hetzel
I first met Jesika, the young narrator of this novel, a few years back - in a short story in the Stories for Homes anthology in aid of Shelter. I am delighted that Jesika had so much more to tell us - though I have to say, this book is not an easy read at times, because of the issues covered which impact upon her life, and the lives of those around her.

This is a STUNNING book. Not because it is a debut novel of amazing quality, or because it handles difficult social issues with sensitivity, but
Sara Oxton
Jan 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Home by Amanda Berriman a four-star read that won’t let you go. What a debut novel, it will break you and leave you in pieces, but it’s worth it as you be left thinking about this book for a long time after, you’ve read it. I would have loved to give it five-stars but there was something about it, that I can’t put my finger on. It was gut-wrenching and well written, the way the story is told from the point of view of a small child is new and brings you a different view to the story, the innocent ...more
Marie (UK)
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were times when i didn't care for the style of this book and found the narration of a 4 year old in some ways annoying. However overall it worked and worked well Seen through the eyes of Jessika the world is sometimes a scary place, her mummy is her only solidity. When that solidity is threatened Jessika questions what she should and should not reveal. Covering poverty, potential homelessness and some scarier things this is a really thought provoking novel. Love, friendship and hope howeve ...more
Kaisha (The Writing Garnet)
All reviews can be found on my blog at

Does anyone know if double-sided tape will fix a broken heart? Asking for a friend....

Actually no, I'm not asking for a friend. I'm asking for myself because I still have absolutely no idea how to piece my heart back together after reading 'Home'. Now I'm not too sure whether my heart broke because the narrative was the voice of a four-year old girl, Jesika, or whether it was because the theme of the book is one that hi
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
This is the kind of book book I dread, a story so compelling and gripping and yet filled with growing dread, as the truths of the tale begin to make themselves clear. I needed to read on but I really didn’t want to. It made me angry and made me incredibly sad. It so affecting because it is based so firmly in the unfortunate realities of today’s society.

Cleverly told from a very young child’s perspective, this book is a brilliantly drawn description of the unseen struggle some families face in po
Michelle Ryles
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs-read
As the narrator of Home is a young child, it took me a little while to get used to Amanda Berriman's writing style. As well as words being spelled as you say them, Jesika's feelings are described with such heartbreaking simplicity that she instantly found a place in my heart.

Amanda Berriman has done a remarkable thing; to be able to view the world through the eyes of a young child and to share that view with the reader so that we feel as if we are actually looking through Jesika's eyes. My heart
Karen Cole
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew from the first paragraph of Home that I was reading something very special and that it was likely to break my heart. The book is narrated throughout by four-year-old Jesika and through her innocent words that we learn of her mother's desperation as she tries to raise her two young children alone in a flat that is barely fit for purpose. While Jesika believes the black marks on the walls are tadpoles and is confused why her Mummy thinks they're moles, we realise that the reason why her lit ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, arc, fiction
All the way through this book I’ve felt conflicted; it was either a brilliant concept or a total gimmick to tell this story from the point of view of a very young child. I thought it would all depend on the ending, but Even after finishing the book I’m still conflicted!

There were some very powerful moments in the book, particularly around the ‘revelation’, and I was undeniably gripped throughout the whole thing, I just kept being pulled out of the story a little by the phonetic spelling and the
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