REVIEW: How to Find Your Way Home

Posted March 17th, 2024 by in Blog, HJ Top Pick!, Review, Women's Fic - Chick-lit / 6 comments


How to Find Your Way Home: The deep sibling bond between Stephen and Emily, whose mother Alicia believes she is entitled to a better life than the modest one they were living is tested when their perfect family is ripped apart by more than just their mother’s affair. Thus, when teenage Stephen walks in on war hero Mitch hitting on his mother at her 30th birthday party, the perfect happy family forever comes to a sharp end.

For Alicia, leaving Tony who by all accounts is a salt of the earth type reliable bloke for Mitch, guaranteed the type of social status as a former beauty queen that she truly deserved. Sadly, for Stephen in particular, Mitch is nothing other than a card carrying example of toxic masculinity, who emotionally abuses him and who attempts to poison Stephen agains his father who taught him to love and understand nature and who fostered Stephen’s rich love of birdwatching.

Millie, 4 years younger than Stephen is aware that her happy family has broken, yet playing the role of good girl and having her big brother as her protector forever enables her to carry on to university and build a comfortable life for herself after a horrific accident that occurred when she was 12. After years of searching, even taking a job in the Housing department, Emily has almost given up hope that she will one day find Stephen again who spent 4 years in prison and who has ended up a homeless addict, until of course, she hears his voice in the office next to hers searching for accommodation.

Developing tension slowly, almost desperately to mirror Millie’s response to finding Stephen and her attempts at keeping hold of him, we journey back and forward from their childhood to understand the true extent of their relationship and unravel the real reasons for Stephen’s incarceration and subsequent homelessness. Throughout, several assumptions are challenged, and even more so, clear moral dilemmas are presented via Stephen’s lived experience; his emotional abuse by Mitch, his abandonment by his mother and his estrangement from his father who he adored.

For the most part though, we walk alongside Millie who struggles to reconcile her perfectly middle class life with the broken family she has surrounding her and the reasons why she doesn’t really know who she is or where she fits in the world. From start to finish, this was a fantastic read, filled with wonderful snippets of nature, a powerful relationship between brother and sister and a jaw-dropping twist that punctuated every painful moment to make it ring all the more true.

Earthy, poignant and at times ethically challenging, How to Find Your Way Home speaks a clear language of love and loyalty, and with a hard earned happy ever after, this reminds us all that the grass is never greener and to hang on tight to whoever holds our hearts

Book Info:

Publication: 15th February 2022 | Berkley Books |

When they were children, Emily and her brother Stephen were inseparable. Running wild through the marshes of Canvey Island, it was Stephen who taught her to look for the incandescent flash of a bird’s wings, who instilled within her a love and respect for nature’s wonders. But one June day, their lives came crashing down around them and fate forced them apart.

Fifteen years later, Emily should be happy. She has a sun-filled garden flat, a lovely boyfriend, and a job that is supposed to let her make a difference. But instead she’s lost, always on the lookout for her brother’s face, and worn down, spending her days working at the local housing offices having to turn away more applicants than she can help.

And then one day, her brother walks through the door.

Stephen has been living in and out of shelters for the last decade and the baggage between them is heavy. But Emily is overjoyed to see her brother again and invites him to come live with her. In an attempt to rebuild their relationship, they embark on a birding adventure together. Amid the soft calls of the marsh birds, they must confront the secrets of all that stands between them–even as they begin to realize that home may just be found within.



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