Dear Great Book Guru, I was with my friends Vic Ambrose and Linda Halliday at a great Solstice party over the past weekend and we were discussing how we were going to spend the long, lazy days of summer. We agreed reading a book a week would be one of our goals. Where shall we start? Summer Goal Setter
Dear Summer Goal Setter, I just finished the novel HOME LEAVE by Brittani Sonnenberg that I think you might enjoy. Relatively short (257 pages), this book offers an interesting study of home- what does home mean when you and your family are “expats” Americans living and working abroad . The Kriegsteins –Chris and Elise and their two daughters Sophia and Leah- have lived in Germany, China, Singapore, England, Thailand, Mississippi, Indiana, Georgia and Wisconsin- all because of Chris’s business ventures. The story begins rather oddly but interestingly with the family home as the narrator- but only for the first chapter. Later we hear from each of the family members as they describe their feelings of alienation, reinvention, and excitement, as they move from place to place as a family. In the opening chapter we learn of the tragedy that leaves each of the family in a permanent state of grief exacerbated by their “homelessness.” The colorful descriptions of the schools, homes, food, friends they encounter abroad and at “ home” add to the richness of this novel. Recommended!