July 10, 2014

No Place Like Home. Barbara Samuel

No Place Like Home book cover
No Place Like Home
Barbara Samuel
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Date: 2004
Format: Audiobook
Length: 9hrs 40 min
Narrator: Kristine Thatcher
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Source: Own book
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Twenty-one years ago Jewel Sabatino left her childhood behind and never looked back. After a magical taste of fame, she found herself alone with a son to raise and not much else. She survived with the help of Michael, her one true friend. But now Michael is too sick to care for himself, and Jewel has run out of options. She leaves New York for the hills of Colorado, unsure if the family she ran from will welcome her back.

For Jewel, coming home is falling back into a world that smells of Italian restaurants and home-baked pies. It is the laughter of sisters preparing for a summer wedding, and the peaceful haven for a treasured soul mate's last days. It also means facing the unforgiving eyes of a father betrayed by his favorite child - and letting go of a son who is ready to become a man. But most of all, it is the love she discovers in her own wary heart when Michael's brother Malachi unexpectedly arrives on her doorstep.

My thoughts
I thoroughly enjoyed this story by Barbara Samuel - who also writes as Barbara O'Neal and Ruth Wind.  It is told from the first person point of view and at first I was not so happy with Kristine Thatcher's narration, however as I slowly realised that actually her narration suited this point of view, I relaxed and enjoyed her excellent telling of the story.

Jewel is a wonderful character, extremely caring and loving.  Her partner - a musician is now dead and Michael and Shane her son are her focus in life.  On returning to her home place in Colorado she is enveloped into the large Italian family life that she once left.  Her only heart ache is that her father will not speak to her - she got off side with him when she left many years ago.  

Michael has been a friend to Jewel for many years - but now is obviously dying from HIV/AIDs.  He is a wonderful character, and the relationship between himself and Jewel is beautiful.  Jewel has written to Michael's brother Malachi to come - Michael is dying.  Eventually Malachi does come and Jewel finds herself becoming attracted to him - but Malachi is a wanderer and will surely leave once Michael dies.

This was a heart warming and at times emotional read.  It speaks of family, love and caring, letting go and forgiveness and reconciliation.  It was well worth a listen.
4 stars


  1. Wow, this does sound emotional. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  2. This sounds lovely, I love stories about family dynamics ... going on my wishlist, thanks Katherine :)


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