Book Review: Here, Home, Hope

“I believe the saying that people come into your life for a reason. And things happen, like cancer scares, to keep us moving forward. Trying new things.” ~from Here, Home, Hope

There comes a point in our lives, sometimes more than once, when we reach a crossroads or a dead end, complacency or crisis, and we realize that change is inevitable, even necessary. Some of us pack up and move, others get married or have a baby, a brave few branch out into new careers or hobbies.

In Kaira Rouda’s debut novel, Here, Home, Hope, we are introduced to Kelly Johnson — a mother of two, a domestic engineer, and a woman in flux. Coming off of a recent breast cancer scare, and beginning to understand (and accept) that her sons no longer need every minute of her attention, Kelly Johnson sets out to find a new purpose for herself.

As it says in “About the Book” on Kaira Rouda’s website, “Kelly takes charge of her life, devising a midlife makeover plan.”

In her quest, Kelly discovers a passion and a hidden talent for a new career, as well as an appreciation for old friends, young teenagers, her life and her home.

Here’s a sneak peek at the book:

Kaira Rouda, herself, is a woman redefined, moving from Author of women’s business books to Novelist. She aims to translate her real life goals, of enlightening and empowering women, into the fictional tale of Kelly Johnson. There’s much to appreciate in Here, Home, Hope (and some to envy), like the value of risk-taking, the importance of genuine friendships, and of the support of a loving husband — who’s devotion goes unnoticed by Kelly at first. However, as a reader, I would have liked to see the story spend a little more time on some of the bigger issues broached in this novel, like eating disorders and depression.

On the other hand, many readers prefer books that don’t perseverate on the darker side of life, and, as Jenna Blum says in her book blurb, Kaira Rouda’s novel is definitely “upbeat” and “hopeful,” a light read. So, if you’re looking for a story with a taste of real life and a feel-good ending, you’ll enjoy Here, Home, Hope.

And, tomorrow just might be your lucky day. I’ll be hosting Kaira Rouda here for an interview, where she’ll talk about the move from writing nonfiction to novels and the one thing that so many of us strive for in life: balance. Stop by tomorrow’s post as well, get to know a little more about Kaira and her novel from her perspective, and enter the giveaway: one free copy of Here, Home, Hope.


5 responses to “Book Review: Here, Home, Hope

  1. A good review Christi, honest and yet you absolutely point out the positives of this book. I like what you’ve done much better than my review.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. Christi!

    Thank you so much for your thoughtul reveiw of Here, Home, Hope. I love the quote you pulled to start it, too, as I believe it’s one of the underlying themes of the book – and life. And for the acknowledgement of the transition from nonfiction to fiction. It has been quite a journey – but also my dream for so long. I agree the topics of eating disorder and depression – which are quite often linked, as you probably know – could be treated more deeply in this or any novel. But for Here, Home, Hope, I did give these characters a happy ending.
    Thank you again for a lovely review! I look forward to being back here tomorrow!


  3. Here, Home, Hope sounds like just my kind of novel! Thanks, Christi, for such a thoughtful review. I look forward to the interview.

    “A woman redefined.” I love it.

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