I’ve been such a fan of Gailey’s recent works from Magic for Liars all the way through The Echo Wife. So when I saw this recent release it was an immediate addition to my TBR. Do you have those auto-buy authors too? Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
“Come home.” Vera’s mother called and Vera obeyed. In spite of their long estrangement, in spite of the memories — she’s come back to the home of a serial killer. Back to face the love she had for her father and the bodies he buried there.
Coming home is hard enough for Vera, and to make things worse, she and her mother aren’t alone. A parasitic artist has moved into the guest house out back, and is slowly stripping Vera’s childhood for spare parts. He insists that he isn’t the one leaving notes around the house in her father’s handwriting… but who else could it possibly be?
There are secrets yet undiscovered in the foundations of the notorious Crowder House. Vera must face them, and find out for herself just how deep the rot goes.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
Just Like Home is eerie from beginning to end. There’s a sense of suspense and tension immediately to try to figure out what her dad did. Not only that, but the chapters which are these past flashbacks have a sense of memories and childlike naivety. The ways in which we believe the best of our parents, believe what they tell us about how the world works. But as readers who see these memories for the rose tinted visions they are, can sense the sinister, the off putting, the tension.
And that’s my main impression of Just Like Home. It’s about the things that can happen and we wouldn’t know the things we don’t want to see. The lies we accept. All combined with this feeling of knowing that someone isn’t who we thought. If there’s one thing you take away from this book review, just know you could cut the suspense in Just Like Home with a knife. It feels tangible like something that rips itself off the pages and sits in a room with you, looming.
Part of what lends itself to that feeling is the audiobook narration. Xe Sands does a phenomenal job of infusing these memories with just the right amount of doubt and love. The new experiences tinged with grief, regret, and guilt. The emotions shine through the pages. Because Just Like Home is also about what happens when we return home. How it can make us feel like we are stuck in the memories and how we almost regress back to who we used to be.
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To loving her father, him being the only real source of love she had, while also having to reconcile what she knows know. Vera has to come to terms with loss both with her mother, but also the past, memories, ghosts, and regrets associated with her father. For fans of supernatural thrillers with potentially unreliable narrators and working through complicated family relationships, this is for you. Find Just Like Home on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, The Book Depository, Libro.fm & Google Play.