First published 1996.
At the center of Home Again is Madelaine, a brilliant cardiologist, a loving mother, a tender friend, a woman full of self-doubt. It is the story of her daughter, Lina, a confused and angry rebel and of the two very different men Madelaine loves: Francis, a priest searching for his faith, and Angel, a talented, but cynical man. When tragedy brings them together again, they must learn to forgive the betrayals of the past and find the courage to love again.
Kristin Hannah certainly knows how to write and craft a moving story. I needed a box of tissues close by for this one. There was the challenge that Madelaine experienced being a parent to Lina, with her own experience of losing her mother when she was young and a father who was remote and unbending. For Madelaine there was the fear of losing Lina, and so at times she had not set limits with Lina, until she reaches out for help ( a difficult thing for her) and in doing so finds her backbone in beginning to set limits with Lina.
Lina is a troubled teen, experiencing all the angst of a roller coaster of emotions she is not sure how to handle, and is taking the road of hanging out with others who are leading her to smoking, drinking and drugs. She doesn't know her father is and struggles with it. Francis - a priest, is a rock for her mother and for Lina. Francis himself has his own emotional challenges in the life he leads.
Finally there is Angel, who left town one day, and never came back. Leaving behind a pregnant Madelaine and Francis his brother. The two boys had a difficult upbringing in a home where the mother drank and encouraged Angel to drink with her.
The story takes place from the time Angel does come back to town, and all their lives begin to interact. Fear, jealousy, loneliness, anger, are experienced and finally faced. P. 285 "But he was beginning to understand that running didn't always get you anywhere, that sometimes you ended up right where you'd started."
The story has flawed and fragile characters, who are able to face some of those places in them that we like to keep hidden from others. In facing them they find hope, love and redemption.
Personal Challenge 2013.
TBR Challenge 2013.