Home By Penny Parkes
‘Home’ is the latest book by Penny Parkes.
Anna Wilson travels the world as a professional housesitter – stepping into other people’s lives – caring for their homes, pets and sometimes even neighbours. Living vicariously. But all Anna has ever really wanted is a home of her own – a proper one, filled with family and love and happy memories. If only she knew where to start. Growing up in foster care, she always envied her friends their secure and carefree lives, their certainty and confidence. And, while those same friends may have become her family of choice, Anna is still stuck in that nomadic cycle, looking for answers, trying to find the courage to put down roots and find a place to call home.
I haven’t read many books by Penny, so when I was offered the chance to read her latest book, I was delighted.
The story is seen through the eyes of house sitter and budding writer Anna Wilson. With no permanent roots or place to call home, she looks after other people’s houses when they travel. Having spent her life in and out of foster homes, she has never known a home but decides now is the time to finally face up to her family’s past and finally see if she can finally put pen to paper and write the story that she’s always dreamt of telling.
I loved this story, it was beautifully written, impactful and tender in parts that really made for lovely reading. I loved Anna, she’s kind, caring and has never known a proper home, so doesn’t know what it would feel like to have one. After a traumatic childhood, she’s always on the run, never settling down and she treats her adult life like her childhood living in one bag and always ready for the next upheaval.
Although her job is admirable and exciting visiting luxurious houses and friendly pets that provided company, there was an underlying sadness to the story with Anna not having a permanent address.
The story is written in past and present tense, Anna as an adult and as a child. The reflections back to her younger self made for sad reading, as she had finally found herself a home, only for it to taken away and how she drifts from pillar to post without proper connection to her blood family.
Penny writes sensitively about the concept home, how it’s not only about the four walls that you live in, but it’s also the feeling you get when you close the door. The sense of calm and protection and your own wee world away from the chaos of the world.
With an absolutely stunning cover and storyline that really struck a chord, ‘Home’ is a clever and warm story about visiting old ghosts and making new friends that is both uplifting and heartbreaking in equal measures.
You can buy ‘Home’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.