Home Again

Book 1--The Endless Love Series

Romance - General
96 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Bestselling author, Kathleen Shoop, holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women’s fiction and romance. Shoop’s novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer’s Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. For more information, visit www.kshoop.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite

Turmoil turns to comfort as April Harrington escapes what many believe is an idyllic life and returns to the summer home of her childhood in Home Again. Kathleen Shoop brings to life a swirl of emotions after April leaves her would-be husband at the altar of a New York high society wedding and returns to the shores of Albemarle Sound in North Carolina. Finding the old home in disrepair, she considers how the grief over the recent loss of her brother, Andrew, in Vietnam has left her family in ruins. Also in ruins is Hale, her brother’s childhood friend who holds a deep secret from the final moments of Andrews’s life which still haunts him. As Hale sees April in a completely new light, he is drawn to her from something deep inside, though he tries to turn away and run from her as his guilt continues to eat at him. April is longing for the deep safety and comfort that Hale has always provided for her, but is struggling to get through to him. Will she be able to break through before he has to return to Vietnam when his leave is up?

Kathleen Shoop has painted a masterpiece of emotions and turmoil intertwined with the longing for simplicity in Home Again. The depth of conflict that both characters experience as they fight their distinct battles forms a dichotomy as their inner battles threaten to both tear them apart and draw them together. Their shattered lives and the disrepair of the house serve as parallel metaphors for the damages caused by neglect and the slow process of healing and repair. Profound, emotional and heart-warming, Home Again will draw you back to your own comfortable place and your own simpler time.

Mamta Madhavan

Home Again (Book 1--The Endless Love Series) by Kathleen Shoop is a simple and uncomplicated love story that will leave readers with a nice feeling. The story set in 1969 in the Vietnam era. April Harrington is a runaway bride. She leaves her rich bridegroom standing at the altar and goes to her family home at Bliss to pick up the pieces of her life again. The house, which held her childhood memories, is not the same anymore and she finds it rotting slowly due to neglect and leakage. She finds solace in the arms of her brother's friend, Hale, who is a Vietnam pilot. This novella is a heart-warming story of love and healing.

The characterization of both April and Hale are remarkably effective. Hale is someone whom every woman will want to love and April is vulnerable yet emotionally strong, which makes her very desirable. The romance evolves gradually and pulls readers in. The Vietnam War and that period of history have been incorporated beautifully into the theme, showing life during that time. The war scenes in the book are realistic and many readers can relate to that part of the story. The story is emotional and moving, and it transcends time and space. There is a lingering sadness, too, in the story which also covers other topics like death, war, money etc. The emotions, drama and all the action make it a wonderful novella.

K.C. Finn

In Home Again, author Kathleen Shoop presents a tale of romance born from the shadows of the Vietnam War in 1969. Protagonist April runs from the altar on her wedding day to return to her parents’ old house and the memory of her brother, Andrew, who was killed in action two years prior to the story’s events. There she meets Hale, a fellow soldier of Andrew’s and her childhood friend, on leave from the carnage of war and trying to rebuild the house she has taken shelter in. The result is a hurt-comfort plot where love blossoms from emotional soul-cleansing and heart-breaking shared memories, all tightly packed into an easy to read, enjoyable novella.

I am not usually a fan of romantic fiction, but Home Again ticks every box for the ingredients you need to make even the most stony-hearted of readers root for the main characters. The novella is delightfully succinct and to the point, balancing the deep-set emotional problems of April and Hale nicely against the restoration of the old house. As the house heals, so do their wounds and a totally believable, enjoyable love story is born amid the beautifully described natural surroundings. The heat level of their intimacy is appropriate to the serious undertones of the sacrifices of war and Kathleen Shoop’s beautifully crafted words only enhance the reading experience. The novella flows well with high-quality writing, to the point action sequences, and imaginative settings. Overall, this was an extremely satisfying read with heart, depth and masterful storytelling.