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Coming Home

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  16,072 ratings  ·  907 reviews
Against the backdrop of an elegant Cornwall mansion before World War II and a vast continent-spanning canvas during the turbulent war years, this involving story tells of an extraordinary young woman's coming of age, coming to grips with love and sadness, and in every sense of the term, coming home...

In 1935, Judith Dunbar is left behind at a British boarding s
Paperback, 977 pages
Published July 1st 2005 by Hodder & Stoughton (first published September 1st 1995)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,072 ratings  ·  907 reviews

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Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really love Rosamunde Pilcher books. I hate how they look like sappy romance novels because somebody put dorky flowers and curlicues all over the cover, but rest assured, they're far from that genre. This is one of my particular favorites. It follows a girl (left in boarding school in England while her family goes to Singapore) before, during, and after WWII and goes back and forth between Cornwall, London, and various South Pacific locations. It's fairly epic in length--I think it clocks in a ...more
"So, what did she want, above all else? Roots, perhaps. A home and a family and a place to go to that was forever. Belonging."

I loved taking this wonderful journey with Judith Dunbar from the impressionable age of fourteen in 1935 straight through the years of World War II. Judith learns so much about what it means to have a place in the world, a home to return to, loved ones to reunite with and hold close to the heart. I couldn’t help sympathizing with this young lady when first introduced to her
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Did you ever read a 826 page novel and when you closed the back board onto the last page wish that there were another 826 pages to go? That is how I felt coming to the end of Coming Home. The title of this novel seems infinitely appropriate for me, because reading Pilcher again feels exactly like that--Coming Home. She makes her settings and her people so real and warm that you want to belong there and to remain listening to the sea and watching the waves crash on a Cornwall beach.

Feb 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who loves WWII era stories
I read this when I am craving comfort and familiarity. Rosamunde Pilcher's books are like a hot bubblebath. You sink into the story and resurface a few hours later feeling refreshed.
Debbie Zapata
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019sundaze
It has been a little difficult for me to think coherently about what I want to say in this review.

This is only the second Rosamund Pilcher title I have ever read, and I loved this one as much as The Shell Seekers, for many of the same reasons. The writing is not pretentious, the people feel real, everything that happens is described so clearly that I still feel I am in Judith Dunbar's Dower House listening to the rain on the roof.

This type of book is a pleasure to read. It gives us lovely c
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is possibly my favorite book of all time. It follows 14-year old Judith in pre-WW II Britain for about 13 years -- through pre-war family disruptions, boarding school (where she meets a new friend with an interesting family and a wonderful country house), the war itself (as a WREN, which takes her to Ceylon), and back to post-war Britain to find missing family and sort out her life.

I loved every part of it -- the girl herself, her family and friends, the country house, the romances, the vi
This was one of the first Rosamunde Pilcher novels that I read and I have read it multiple times over again, as I have done with many of her books. It is the story of war, friendship, loneliness and most of all it is a story of belonging and having a place to call home regardless of where that place actually is - a building, a town, a school... it is your place, your home.

Pilcher's books always look like romance novels, and some do have a touch of romance included, but they are so much more tha
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

Coming Home follows the life of Judith Dunbar beginning in 1936, when she is a fourteen year old school girl. Born in Ceylon, Judith lives quietly with her mother Molly and her four year old sister Jess in a rented house in Cornwall, England. Now, Jess's father has written from Ceylon, telling his wife that he's been promoted, they'll be moving to Singapore and it's time she and Jess returned to him. Judith is left behind, at boarding school, and this is where her rather lon
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
When looking at the cover of this novel I had no idea that I, being male, would ever enjoy this story. Boy was I wrong. I fell in love with the characters and the setting of this timeless piece of art. I sometimes consider myself a literary snob and was looking for something completely different to read. I now rank this book right up there as one of the most absorbing and emotional reads I have come across in a long while. For a previous reviewer who wrote this is poorly written, I would beg to ...more
Kate ☀️ Olson
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This EPIC audiobook (40 hours!) has earned the distinction of being my favorite listen of all time. I fell in love every time I listened and almost cried when it ended. Outstanding. OUTSTANDING ❤ ...more
Jan 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves descriptive British writing
Coming Home covers the young life of Judith Dunbar. The book follows her from entering boarding school at about 14. Her mother and father have gone overseas with her father's job. Then WWII hits. Judith is left on her own, yet along the way, via her best friend at school, there are people who enter her life and become her second family. Nothing is rushed in this book, which is as it should be. I enjoyed the descriptions of the countryside and homes. A lovely British read that has me wanting endl ...more
Ivana Books Are Magic
I loved the opening of this book. It reminded me of Jane Eyre, but as the story progressed, I could see that any similarity to that classic is purely superficial. This novel is a coming of age story of Judith Dunbar, set in prewar, war and post 2WW Britain. At the star of this novel, I was rather fascinated by the relationship between Judith and her mother, who seems to be a push-over, but at the same time capable of some deep thoughts. I found it perplexing, how this woman whom both Judith (her ...more
Suanne Laqueur
I've read this about six times, once out loud to my twelve-year-old daughter. Rosamunde Pilcher is always magic and this novel is her magnum opus. The epitome of British family sagas, of wartime in England, of family and love and friendship and boarding schools and English country manors. Basically everything I love. And, also, the ultimate in tea party descriptions, and for British food in general.

More about my tea party obsessions here:
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
For the first third of the book or so, I felt it was moving too slow and was getting bored. But then, I got adjusted to the pace and the style of things, and I started feeling relaxed and entranced by the good sense of the characters and the ever-present soothing cups of tea. The story takes a fourteen-year-old British girl through her years at boarding school and through the years of World War II. It was interesting to read about the experience of the Brits during the war and to think about how ...more
Janice Williams
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, world-war-ii
I was looking for something captivating and relaxing to read over the holidays and pulled Rosamunde Pilcher's "Coming Home" (1995) off of our home library shelf. I'd bought it at the Athens County Library book sale for $3. What a find! This was a wonderful book by the author of "September" and "The Shell Seekers", two books which I also enjoyed.

Judith Dunbar attends boarding school in England while her parents and little sister are in Singapore. Her best friend, Loveday, comes from a
Beth Bonini
I first read this coming-of-age saga in 1995, the year it was published. Many of the plot points stuck in my head, but none more so than the house Nancherrow, and the glamorous Carey-Lewis family who inhabit it. The book neatly divides between pre- and post- World War II Cornwall, and the idea of “coming home” resonates in various ways throughout the novel. The Carey-Lewis family represent everything good about the world of upper-class English gentry. Anyone who has read Pilcher’s novels know th ...more
May 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fiction, england, ww2
This is probably my favorite Pilcher novel. It is a tender, gentle and very real story of a young girl coming of age during WWII. She lives with an aunt as her parents are out in the Far East. She becomes friends with a wonderful family whose lives and loves she grows to be an integral part of. Ultimately she must take on the responsibility of a young sister who survived the brutal invasion of the Japanese while their parents didn't. It is such a real life, with young people having to make grown ...more
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was ok
Brideshead Lite... very light. I loved the Shell Seekers and liked September. This is a very weak production which rides on the popularity of those books - and I am really amazed that none of the reviews I've seen have commented on the class-consciousness and sexism which pervade the novel. Judith is a boring character who doesn't seem at all attached to any of the people who die tragically around her, some of whose deaths allow her to climb socially and improve her position, but not to actually ...more
Sep 09, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: war, britlit
Ok, I have to do this. I find Coming Home trashy yet really compelling. I read it over and over when I'm sick, when I'm on a plane, when I feel terrible for whatever reason, and it's always escapist and comforting. Mostly it's that I'm compelled to read anything about WWII Britain; since this is so long and so much happens, I'm compelled to read it over and over again. At the same time I have some major problems with various business such as 1. ridiculous stereotypical characteristics/behavior, part ...more
Why is this book so long?? It really could use some editing. I stopped halfway through and read another book to take a break. The first half of the book was very slow for me. I loved the second half however. I do love this writer's style and the era in which the story takes place. I did get little annoyed at how the men in this story speak to the women but it is probably typical for the late 30s and early 40s. Still the women are strong in the 2 novels I have read by Pilcher. I discovered Pilche ...more
Dec 30, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009
This book was just too slow, with lengthy descriptions of flowers in gardens and furniture in rooms that didn't add to the story. While the main storyline of Judith is a beautiful love story, Pilcher has tried to squeeze too many characters into the book, and it just comes away feeling crowded. It was worth reading once, but I don't think I'd invest the time to read it again.
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wwii, historical-fiction, a, uk
Another unputdownable novel by Rosamunde Pilcher, about the coming of age of a young girl spanning the years of WWII.
Maybe the end was a tad too pat, but I won't complain. I just so enjoyed the book.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
A perfect big, fat book for sinking into during grey winter days. The first two hundred pages didn't have a lot of drama, but somehow they felt completely absorbing and enjoyable anyway, and then the last 600 pages were hugely dramatic and I couldn't stop reading! (I took 3 days to read the first 200 pages and 2 days to read the last 600 - which is definitely a sign.)

The final emotional scene at the end of the book felt just a tiny bit flat to me after waiting for it so long...but that's a very
Dara (Dara Reads OK)
Nov 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I give this 5 stars knowing that lots of people will have no patience for this book and that is just fine. But if you had to give me a list of things that make a book perfect for me this would be it. Long, British, 1940s, family saga etc. This gave me the same feeling I had reading L.M. Montgomery and Louisa May Alcott, it's so homey and familiar. It also has some really great details about life on the home front during World War II. Rationing, fuel shortages, blackouts etc. I could have kept re ...more
Katherine Coble
Apr 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm sad that it's over. I read 1000 pages and wanted to read more. If that doesn't tell you how flat out wonderful a book this is, nothing will convince you.
Lizzie Dias
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
A delightful book. Unfortunately ended.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Coming Home is a very specific beast, and that's four stars of a very specific sort. I don't consider them to be indicative of any great literary quality (consider, for example, the number of times the phrase "a moveable feast" is used - and that's a phrase too noticeable to be repeated often); instead, what characterizes Coming Home is a vaguely familiar sort of humanity.

I say "vaguely" because I can't quite name other titles that provide that same feel, though the novel does strike me as immediately
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Too long? Oh, I just never wanted this book to end! I listened to the audiobook (all 32 hours of it!), a little each day, and simply loved it! Like drinking hot cocoa in front of a log fire when it's really cold outside, it gave me such a soothing, comfortable feeling.

Apparently this novel is often put in the Romantic Fiction library section, but it's certainly not cosy, lovey-dovey sentimentality. The social and historical details of the 1936-1945 years, skilfully woven into the plot, seem to
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Rosamunde Scott was born on 22 September 1924 in Lelant, Cornwall, England, UK, daughter of Helen and Charles Scott, a British commander. Just before her birth her father was posted in Burma, her mother remained in England. She attended St. Clare's Polwithen and Howell's School Llandaff before going on to Miss Kerr-Sanders' Secretarial College. She began writing when she was seven, and published h ...more
“Alone. She realized how much she had missed the luxury of solitude, and knew that its occasional comfort would always be essential to her. The pleasure of being on one's own was not so much spiritual as sensuous, like wearing silk, or swimming without a bathing suit, or walking along a totally empty beach with the sun on your back. One was restored by solitude. Refreshed.” 20 likes
“Other people's houses were always fascinating. As soon as you went through the door for the first time, you got the feel of the atmosphere, and so discovered something about the personalities of the people who lived there.” 12 likes
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