Clair Sharpe's Reviews > Our Homesick Songs

Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 2018, publisher-promotions, female-authors, hardbacks, canada, owned-books, book-tours

Set in 1992/1993 and told from the point of view of 10-year-old Finn Conner, 14-year-old sister, Cora and their parents, Aiden and Martha, this book describes the fictional fishing village of Big Running in Newfoundland, Canada. When the book starts, most families have left the island as fishing is the main industry and all the fish have mysteriously disappeared. Finn’s parents, Aiden and Martha spend alternate months working at an energy site up north to support their children.
There is no school on the island and no lessons for the children. Finn develops an obsession with solving the mystery of the missing fish, with the help his accordion teacher Mrs Callaghan. Cora spends her days decorating the abandoned houses as different countries – the bakers house becomes Italy, another becomes Russia, Mexico and Britain until almost all the house have a national identity.
The book also looks to the past (early 1970s) and looks at Aiden and Martha as teenagers. Martha loses her parents at a young age and lives with her sisters. One night she hears what she thinks is a mermaid singing out at sea and spends her evenings sitting on the beach listening to the songs. Aiden is a fisherman from Little Running and we discover what happens when they meet.
As the emotional distance between Aiden and Martha widens, Cora runs away from the island, desperate for a bigger life than her home can offer.
I loved this book – the writing is sublime and I felt transported to the remote fishing village. The description of the landscape and the way of life for the family are marvellous. I also liked the retrospective nature of the book – by looking back at Aiden and Martha’s relationship, we see what Big Running was like when it was a thriving community which makes us understand why the family find it so hard to leave. I can’t recommend this highly enough.
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Reading Progress

May 30, 2018 – Shelved
May 30, 2018 – Shelved as: unread
June 1, 2018 – Started Reading
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: publisher-promotions
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: female-authors
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: hardbacks
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: canada
June 1, 2018 – Shelved as: owned-books
June 2, 2018 –
page 85
June 2, 2018 –
page 116
June 2, 2018 –
page 116
June 4, 2018 –
page 205
June 5, 2018 –
page 245
June 6, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 5, 2018 – Shelved as: book-tours

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