Wander Home

Fiction - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 01/14/2013
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Author Biography

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but moved every few years throughout her childhood and adolescence. After college in California, law school in Massachusetts, and a mercifully short stint in a large San Francisco law firm, she moved to Los Angeles, where she met her now-husband, who hates L.A. They eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University.

Wyle's childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age ten, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age nine.

Wyle was an English and American Literature major at Stanford University, which suited her, although she has in recent years developed some doubts about whether studying literature is, for most people, a good preparation for enjoying it. Her most useful preparation for writing novels, besides reading them, has been the practice of appellate law -- in other words, writing large quantities of persuasive prose, on deadline, year after year.

Wyle's voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Teresita Rivera for Readers' Favorite

The story revolves around Eleanor’s search for something in her life. But she herself seems to be confounded about what she was searching for. She left behind a daughter in the care of her family - her parents and grandmother - while searching for that something missing in her life. But her wandering proved futile until she was reunited again with her family in the afterlife, they having died in a car accident earlier. Yet, even as she found them, she continued to feel that something was missing and her family was clearly on edge that any moment she might take off again in search for what she herself could not put a finger on.

The story itself dwells on a common theme - a daughter in search of a mother’s love, a mother who so longs to provide that love but feels inadequate in face of her own search for self and a family who provides them unconditional support. The uniqueness is in the telling. It being set in the afterlife, where time and space set no boundaries, one is brought to a different level of perception. The story inspires one to stretch the imagination to envision a world where one becomes adult and child by just calling it to mind, where one travels in space and time yet untraveled by just linking with another similarly minded. If this were a motion picture, one would be feasting in never-ending sights and sounds, visions that only the imagination can conjure.