Title: Almost Home: A Novel
Author: Pam Jenoff
Release Date: February 3, 2009
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Source: Curled Up With a Good Book
Rating: 4 out of 5
Jordan Weiss hasn’t been back to the UK in ten years, not since the accident that took her boyfriend’s life at Cambridge. However, now a friend has asked her to return, one who is terminally ill with ALS, and Jordan knows she must go back to England and face the demons from her past. She applies and is immediately granted a transfer from her State Department post in Washington, DC to London. Upon arriving, she is embroiled in two different cases and is shocked to discover that she has not left the past behind after all.
I read Pam Jenoff’s debut novel The Kommandant’s Girl a long time ago and really enjoyed it, so I’ve kept an eye out for the novels she’s released since then, though I haven’t picked any up until now. I had heard good things about Almost Home, but was unsure about it because it wasn’t a historical like Jenoff’s previous novels. However, after just reading the first few pages of Almost Home, I knew I was in for a treat.
Almost Home is a suspenseful novel that will keep the reader hooked from beginning to end. It definitely has a “thriller” feel, but is literary enough to satisfy different types of readers. Jenoff’s writing is clear and consistent. She uses the present tense in this novel, which can be awkward at times, but once the reader gets used to it, it’s a barely noticeable feature of this interesting novel.
Jordan is an intriguing character that really carries Almost Home on her shoulders – if she wasn’t appealing, the novel wouldn’t be nearly as good. Luckily, though, she is very easy to like. I appreciated how smart and savvy she was. It was strange that she was so broken up over her boyfriend’s death that occurred ten years ago, but as the novel progressed, it became very understandable. After Jared died, Jordan immediately left Cambridge, returning to the United States and shutting that part of her off. When she returned, it was as if she was dealing with his death for the first time and it was fresh in her memory.
The mystery in Almost Home is thrilling and takes twists and turns galore. The reader never knows who to trust as one person after another falls under suspicion. Admittedly, I figured out who was the “bad guy” about 50 pages before Jordan did, but it was still an exciting read that I really enjoyed. Some of the developments are a little difficult to believe, so this novel will work the best if you can suspend your sense of disbelief while reading it. It makes for an exciting and thrilling ride!
Almost Home is a fun novel that I definitely recommend if you’re in the mood for some light, fun fare. Be warned though, this is a novel you’re really going to want to read cover to cover, so be prepared to stay up late into the night with this appealing novel! I can’t wait for the release of its sequel, Hidden Things.