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Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite
Let’s Go Home: Finding There While Staying Here by Bernadette O'Connor is a moving story that deals with the psychology of being home, of feeling at home with oneself, a story of love and loss, and one woman’s journey to transcend her inner darkness and reconnect with love once again. When the story begins, the protagonist, Halia, is desperate to recreate a memory of love, an experience of ecstasy that happened just recently. To people who see her from the outside, she is a happy woman, but she carries a painful world within her. To experience her freedom — the freedom and joy that inhabited her soul as a child — she will have to transcend her pain, but how? Follow her journey as she meets with a dad who abandoned her, learns from the friendship she shares with Snow, and receives guidance from a wise woman.
Bernadette O'Connor’s debut novel is well-written and I loved the compelling first person narrative voice. It’s easy to relate to the protagonist because she is genuinely flawed and readers can easily find themselves in her experience. The author was able to capture the psychological truth that once we have had a wonderful experience of love, we can spend our lifetime trying to recreate that experience. There is deft development of the internal conflict taking place in the protagonist. The author uses contrast to build this conflict. For instance, the narrator says: “I was not scared. I was not scared when I was a kid. I was free and did whatever I wanted. Nothing really held me back.” But time has passed and she’s been transformed into someone who is scared of being alone. Can she be the child she once was again? Let’s Go Home: Finding There While Staying Here is a beautiful story, one to be read with the heart. Readers will enjoy the steady pacing of the story and the powerful streams of consciousness that punctuate the narrative.