Set in a remote part of the Lake District, Sarah Stovell’s remarkable The Home is a stark, beautiful and emotive novel that takes no prisoners. Focusing on three troubled young women in care, Annie, Hope and Lara all have traumatic pasts. While they have been let down by those meant to protect them, at the home, they find love, coming to care for each other.

After fifteen-year-old Hope is found dead in a churchyard and is subsequently discovered to have been pregnant, all manner of questions must be asked in the investigation that follows, not just about the girls’ immediate pasts or the events that led them to be put in care in the first case, but about the home itself.

Stovell tackles difficult, often shocking issues head-on, giving her storyline and characters added authenticity and dimension. She shines a spotlight on matters that many find uncomfortable, matters that plague our society, that often result in the exploitation and disempowerment of vulnerable young people.

This is not an easy read by any means, but it is a compelling one. It’s a book that must be read. One that leaves a footprint.


Sarah Stovell | The Home | Orenda Books | paperback original £8.99 | 6 February 2020 |

Please support independent bookshops and libraries


Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Many thanks to lovely Anne Cater, as always, and to the publisher for sending a book proof and the wonderful jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved. This review is published as part of the virtual book tour. Please check out the other reviews on the tour.

See also: ‘Nathan Blackwell, the Sound of her Voice’;Jason Arnopp’s creepily entertaining Ghoster‘; Carver’s Nothing Important Happened Today’; ‘By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept’; ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘; ‘We should all be feminists‘; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;Permission by Saskia Vogel‘; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”‘; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

Select Q&As/interviews: Amanda Saint‘;‘Ausma Zehanat Khan’; Mary Balogh‘; ‘Louise Voss’; ‘Lilja Sigurðardóttir’; ’Tom Cox’; ‘Vanda Symon; ‘Gunnar Staalesen’; Some like it hot – the joy of Carole Mortimer, award-winning novelist


This review is © 2020 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Any images are used for promotional purposes only. If we have unintentionally breached your copyright, please contact us and we will take the image down immediately. Thank you so much.


Tags : , , , ,