bluewillowtree: (Gonzo & Camilla)
( Sep. 6th, 2010 11:52 am)
I was recently struck with the urge to re-read Cynthia Voigt's Homecoming. I've read it a number of times, mostly as a kid and maybe once as an adult, but it had been many years, and I missed it.

In case you haven't read it (and if not, go find it!), Homecoming is the story of the four Tillerman children's journey to find a new home after their mother has a breakdown and abandons them in a mall parking lot. Thirteen-year-old Dicey, the oldest, must lead her brothers and sister - who are ten, six, and nine, respectively - hundred of miles on foot to an unknown family member whom they hope will take them in. With very little money, food is a concern every day, as is staying away from adults who might call the police, which could lead to foster homes and possible separation. It's an amazing story; I could really almost feel the children's hunger and exhaustion as I read, as well as their disappointments, accomplishments, and love for each other.

My love for Homecoming is more than just nostalgia for a childhood favorite. Re-reading this as an adult, the Tillermans' journey is both more impressive, because I have a much greater understanding of the odds they faced, and much more frightening, because I now realize all of what could have happened to them. There's one scene in particular that's terrifying now, though when I first read it at 10 or 11, I couldn't have imagined the dangers they were actually facing. Still, it's an absolutely amazing and beautifully written story about family and determination. After finishing it, I couldn't wait to start reading the sequel, Dicey's Song, which I'm now about halfway through. In fact, I'm really tempted to re-read the entire Tillerman series...
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