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It’s been eighteen years since Josh Peters left dreary, dying Derton—the seaside town where he grew up—and headed for the bright lights of London. Now his dad is sick and his mum needs him, so he’s back—though he’s promised himself he won’t be staying for long…Then Josh finds himself unexpectedly detained in Derton, living in his cramped teenage bedroom, with simmering family tensions a little too close for comfort. Back amongst the old friends, old enemies, and old flames he lef

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  1. ElaineG says:
    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great read, November 10, 2015
    By 
    ElaineG (uk) –

    This review is from: Home (Paperback)
    Eighteen years ago Josh couldn’t wait to leave home, a sleepy English seaside resort called Derton in Kent where nothing much happened. No way was he going to take over running his father’s sweet shop, he was off to the bright lights of London. Now, however, with his father being diagnosed with terminal cancer he is back, but for how long?

    It is a very bittersweet story that really touched a chord with me as I watched Josh and his parents Phil and Sue reconnecting and feeling their way through dad Phil’s last weeks one day at a time. Nobody knows how they would cope in that situation unless it happens to them, but all three characters here seemed extremely real with their very raw emotions feeling very believable. Josh and his dad have never exactly seen eye to eye, but the question is, can they put all that behind them now and be a real family at last? It is a story that also manages to deal with the practical side of being in this situation, but still remains extremely entertaining. The section that immediately springs to mind is when Sue wants to refresh her driving for “afterwards”. She hasn’t driven for 18 years and realises that she will need to start again and her skills are a little rusty. Just the thought of that really touched me, as I thought about my mum who has never driven and wondered what she would do in that situation. How would she get the shopping or go and visit people?

    There is a very dry, black streak of humour running throughout the book. It is not laugh out loud funny, more subtle one liners, but it definitely put a smile on my face every now and then. If you have ever resisted the urge to smirk during a funeral service, then you will know exactly what I mean. In particular, some of the thoughts that go through Josh’s head were really witty and amusing but most importantly felt “real”. I could imagine people having those thoughts, irreverent though they may be, and that, for me, is why the humour works.

    There are some very moving moments as well, and it is no spoiler when I say “particularly at the end”. I definitely had a few tears at that point. Both my parents are still alive as well as both my in-laws and it really made me realise that one day I could be in Josh’s situation or my kids could be in that situation with me and my husband) and that is a thought we are all aware of, but don’t really like to dwell on.

    In summary, it is a story that is funny, dark, thought provoking, heart warming and incredibly sad. I thoroughly enjoyed every page that I spent living with this family. Many thanks to the publishers via Netgalley for the review copy.

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  2. Anonymous says:
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Predictable, December 12, 2015
    By 
    Lynn

    This review is from: Home (Kindle Edition)
    I’ve been a fan of Matt Dunn since I was a teenager, but while this book contains some good witty jokes and also some terribly corny ones, his writing style does not seem to have evolved that much since the Ex-Boyfriend’s Handbook. Every chapter ends with a short line that is meant to be impactful, but their predictability throws me off a little, and many of them are not as impactful or profound as the author believes. The story, while not gripping, does throw light on various aspects of a person’s cancer journey, including how difficult it is for everyone in the family, and would make a nice sympathetic book for other people going through the same. I personally found it a little slow going, and the eventual pairing too predictable.

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  3. Anonymous says:
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Thoroughly enjoyable, feel-good story, November 22, 2015
    By 

    This review is from: Home (Kindle Edition)
    I finished this book last night- later than I meant to because I couldn’t stop reading! I found it very quick to get into- straight away in the first few pages, I knew I was going to enjoy this book, and that’s always a good feeling isn’t it? Having a whole book ahead of you, that you know you’re going to love reading?

    Likeable characters and an easy read, the story continuously pulls your emotions up and down, through Josh’s lighthearted jokes and banter, set against the backdrop of his Dad’s condition. Did the characters seem real? Well, I had a tear in my eye more than once, so I’d have to say yes.

    All in all, a great, well written story, which I think guys or girls would enjoy equally.

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