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A Thousand Roads Home

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  2,683 ratings  ·  236 reviews

Warm, powerful and unforgettable, Irish Times best-selling author Carmel Harrington’s new novel is about second chances, friendship and unlikely heroes.

‘Where is home?’ DJ asked.
‘Wherever the people you love are.’ Ruth replied.

Single mother, Ruth, and her son, DJ, have never truly fitted in, but that didn’t matter, so long as they were together. When their ho

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published October 18th 2018 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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 ·  2,683 ratings  ·  236 reviews

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Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Carmel Harrington writes a novel about the precarious nature of life, being marginalised, whilst shining an all too relevant light on the contemporary plight of homelessness, rising not only in Ireland but in Britain too and rampant elsewhere globally. The book begins with Ruth Wilde escaping from Wexford with her baby to Dublin. In the present, Ruth has baked a minecraft birthday cake for her son, DJ, that doesn't come out quite as expected, but DJ doesn't care, he just appreciates his mother's ...more
Trish at Between My Lines
I was bewitched and bedazzled by the characters in this book. You know the saying ‘be kind because you never know what battle someone is fighting’, well that is so true for every single person in this book.

Tackling themes of homelessness, food poverty and vividly portraying just how easily your life can derail, this isn’t a light read. But it is a read that can make a difference. And on top of that, I feel it’s such an important book, with such a powerful message that it should be compulsory rea
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes we are numbed by social issues and government failures to create systems to protect the weakest of society, because the issues and failures are constant and mind-numbingly repetitive. And so it takes a book like A Thousand Roads Home to put human faces on the plight, to make us see that this could happen to us, to our families, friends, people we assume have life sorted. Nobody has life sorted. It swings us around, whips up our complacency, turns us upside down at times, takes loved on ...more
Mairead Hearne (
‘Everyone has felt like an outsider at some point in their lives.

This is the book that will make you feel you belong.’

A Thousand Roads Home is the latest novel from Irish Times bestselling author Carmel Harrington and is described as ‘warm, powerful and unforgettable – a novel about second chances, friendship and unlikely heroes.'

Hazel Gaynor says ‘It belongs on everyone’s shelf, and in everyone’s hearts’

Liz Nugent says it’s ‘brave and original’

Read on for my thoughts…

Carmel Harrington has t
Jo-C Mertz
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just finished “A Thousand Roads Home” and I can honestly say that this book has changed me. My thought process and perspective altered on many important issues. My heart softened and broke open. This was so beautifully written and was an very easy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️+ for me, (which I do not give out easily). Thank God for amazing authors like Carmel Harrington. I am in awe of your talent and grateful that God has placed people like you on this earth. ❤️ Also a shout out to “Once Upon a Bookclub” for h ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book! This was the first book of Carmel's I have read & at first I nearly didn't bother but something got me to start it again & so glad that I did. I will be looking for more of her books. Such a touching story that really gets you thinking. Realities of homelessness, mental health struggles, love & friendship all in one. It was both sad & happy and such lovely characters. Thanks Carmel x ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my first Carmel Harrington novel, but it most certainly won't be my last! It's a nice quick and enjoyable read.
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, fabulous story. I'll definitely be reading this one again soon. ...more
Danny Jones
Oct 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ok, not going to lie, this book read like a Hallmark movie. At times, it was downright cheesy. But I still got emotional, enjoyed the characters, found it a good lesson in empathy (which the world needs right now), and to be a valuable lesson on homelessness and people on the autism spectrum.
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is a bit quirky and super sentimental. Just a lovely book with wonderful characters, including Ruth, DJ, and Dr. Tom and a great cast of supporting friends. 5/5 heartwarming stars.
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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It’s hard not to empathise with the lovely characters of this book. I have read a lot of good reviews of A Thousand Roads Home and yet I was simply not ready for the heartbreaking story.

There is a homelessness crisis in Ireland, it’s shocking and the number of people without a roof over their head is increasing every day… Carmel Harrington’s new novel focuses on the pain of people who don’t have a place to call home.

It’s not an easy read. One way you can pre
Lorraine Robins
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Carmel Harrington delves into the life of people living in poverty and homelessness. This is a novel, where the lead character is an Autistic, single Mom with a lousy childhood behind her. She is determined to be a good parent and move forward, no matter what life throws her. She and her son end up living in a small hotel room in a miserable hotel. The hotel houses those who are homeless and in dire straights. These people are on a list for a regular home, waiting for their forever home. Depress ...more
Philippa Mckenna
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
There is absolutely nothing to dislike about this beautiful book, which has gone into my top 10 long list for this year. Ruth and her son DJ mean everything to each other. Ruth has Asperger's which brings many complications and she struggles to fit in with society. When they are unexpectedly made homeless, they find themselves in temporary accommodation, where the rules are the rules!

Dr Tom O'Grady is also homeless, and the reason why unfolds throughout the book. A blast from each other's past,
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth is a single mom to 10-year-old DJ who, as they become homeless and move into temporary housing in a hotel, begins to act out against his mother in a desperate angry move because he doesn't know the identity of his father. Ruth is doing the best to work and mother and not let her anxiety or autism hurt her son or their life but those her compulsions to crack her knuckles, read Dean Koontz over and over, and only consume food that is white is what makes Ruth Ruth and despite how her unique be ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one was better than I thought it would be. In the beginning, it seemed like a Hallmark movie kind of book, but it got better :) The writing was pretty good, and the main characters were great. I really liked Ruth, and I loved seeing how she did her best to love her son, and make sure he knew it. And it took me a little longer to like the doctor, but I ended up getting into his story, too. It was still a little corny in some parts, so I did have to take off a star. But I liked the ending. It ...more
Ghada Zakaria
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It may not be the top, most well-written novel ever, but not everyday you find the lead character an autistic mom ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 ... I loved how Carmel shaped the novel around the usually forgotten fighters and heroes.
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This book set in Dublin speaks of homelessness, loss and fitting in to a world that sees you as different. The story is sweet but the writing is rather light and it was hard to relate to the character Tom. Ruth with her extreme candor and drive to provide for her son was a more relatable character.
Margaret Madden
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars. Review to follow.
Margaret Madden
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Review to follow...
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another perfect story from an incredible author. Review to follow
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A thought provoking read, I really liked it.
Vanessa Mozayani
Sep 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful moving story.
Once Upon a Book Club - September 2019
Lisa Regan
Jan 10, 2020 rated it did not like it
Oh my god, this book is awful in so many ways. Either Irish people don't talk the way I think they do, or the author can't write realistic dialogue. And there are so many cliches, stereotypes, stock phrases - some of which she feels the need to explain as if her readers are idiots. The Doctor not only tells us that 'somebody walking over your grave' is a saying, he informs us that his mother used to say it, and also explains what it means. Why? WHY? We've all heard it before, there's no need - a ...more
Oct 30, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
A fast, sweet read with quirky characters. It’s set in Ireland, which I enjoyed very much, and I learned some new vocabulary too. I liked this author’s writing style-she keeps you wanting to know more.
Nov 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Heart-breaking yet heart-warming. A lovely story and just what I needed at the moment. I had the audio version of this. This is the first time I have read any books by Carmel Harrington, I'm off to look for more! ...more
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, I know I say this from time to time but this has to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. It is such a beautifully written story, it melts your heart and you can’t help but fall for all the characters. It makes you feel sad, happy, hopeful and joyous. As well as a brew and a comfy spot to read, you’ll need a box of tissues to hand too, because there’ll be tears and sniffles as you tread those thousand roads.

Though it may make you cry, what I loved about this story and other bo
Dan Liggins
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Carmel Harrington brings out the beauty in human beings & their resilience to BE ALIVE!
True love & relentlessness to conquer life’s obstacles.

Two adversely different protagonists, Ruth & Tom are finding their separate lives tough… Homelessness lurks around every corner for Ruth & her son DJ. Fighting for your own survival is one thing; having to do that for your own son along the way makes everything so much harder & relationships can be on the edge of collapse with any choice Ruth has to make
Claire (Silver Linings and Pages)
Review - 5/5🌟
“Do not write off people based on how they present themselves to the world. You should know that better than anyone. Everyone has a story, if you take the time to listen.”
Single mother Ruth and her ten-year-old son DJ have always struggled to fit in but they have had each other. However, their foundations are rocked when they lose their home in Dublin. Their lives change as they meet Tom, a man who walked away from his house and life ten years ago to sleep on a park bench. These p
Mar 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of Ruth, DJ, and Tom. Ruth is a young single mother on the Autism spectrum trying to keep a roof over her head for herself and her son DJ. DJ is a 10 year old boy who wonders who his father is and longs to know more about him. They are forced into a temporary homestead after being faced with homelessness where life is rather difficult and strict rules are enforced upon them. DJ meets Tom, a homeless man who gave up everything several years ago after a dramatic life tragedy and ...more
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International bestseller Carmel Harrington writes issue-driven popular fiction. From Co. Wexford, she lives in a small village with her husband Roger, two children Amelia and Nate, and their rescue dog, George Bailey.

Her uplifting and inspiring books, all regular chart-toppers, have captured the hearts of readers worldwide and are translated into eight languages to date, in eleven territories. Pub

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Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.” So, this January, as we celebrate Martin Luther King...
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“Home isn't a place it's a feeling” 2 likes
“She is with DJ at the hotel,’ Ruth said. Relief made Tom shake. He had been so worried. ‘We do not have your rucksack,’ Ruth said. ‘I have to get it back. It’s important,’ Tom said. ‘You are alive. That is the most important thing.’ ‘It had my stethoscope in it. My parents gave me that. And a grey cushion. I don’t care about anything else, just those two things.’ Ruth watched raw, visceral pain twist her friend’s face. The room swelled with the unanswered questions. What happened to Tom that made him like this? A doctor, happily married, now living on the streets … She had to find a way to keep Tom inside once he left this hospital. While there was never a good time to be a rough sleeper, the current cold spell was disastrous for anyone stuck on the streets. She would not let this kind man end his days broken, bruised and perished. Ruth said, ‘I have some savings. The deposit I got back from my flat. And despite my best efforts I am unable to find a suitable flat in Dublin to rent. It’s enough for you to take a room at The Silver Sands Lodge when you get out of here.” 0 likes
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