Yes, my dear ones, a glut of reviews, which I hope means that I have knocked my block out of the park. Let’s hope.
Anyway, this is one that I wish I shared with you sooner. What a book!
September 28, 2021
Random House Children’s, Delacorte Press
Blurb: For all of Emory’s life she’s been told who she is. In town she’s the rich one–the great-great-granddaughter of the mill’s founder. At school she’s hot Maddie Ward’s younger sister. And at home, she’s the good one, her stoner older brother Joey’s babysitter. Everything was turned on its head, though, when she and Joey were in the car accident that killed Candy MontClaire. The car accident that revealed just how bad Joey’s drug habit was.
Four months later, Emmy’s junior year is starting, Joey is home from rehab, and the entire town of Mill Haven is still reeling from the accident. Everyone’s telling Emmy who she is, but so much has changed, how can she be the same person? Or was she ever that person at all?
Mill Haven wants everyone to live one story, but Emmy’s beginning to see that people are more than they appear. Her brother, who might not be “cured,” the popular guy who lives next door, and most of all, many “ghostie” addicts who haunt the edges of the town. People spend so much time telling her who she is–it might be time to decide for herself.
A journey of one sister, one brother, one family, to finally recognize and love each other for who they are, not who they are supposed to be, You’d Be Home Now is Kathleen Glasgow’s glorious and heartbreaking story about the opioid crisis, and how it touches all of us.
If there were ever a novel that shows the heart break of what it is like to be a child in a family where you don’t feel seen, You’d Be Home Now by Kathleen Glasgow is it.
Emory is, on her transcripts, perfect, a great student. At home, she’s the good one, the one most likely to not cause trouble. She lives, however, in the shadow of her beautiful, talented older sister, Maddie, and her artsy talented but stoner brother, Joey. Then the night comes when Emory and Joey go to a party; the drive home ends in the death of an innocent girl who needed a ride home, Emory with a shattered leg in incredible pain, and Joey in rehab after od’ing. The novel begins on that night with Emory trying to console the dying girl in the backseat next to Joey who’s inert. Emory blacks out only to wake in the hospital with her sister Maddie by her side.
There are so many emotional points in You’d Be Home Now that you could almost be a dishrag by the time you reached The End, but Glasgow handles it well. We move from Emory’s mother sparingly providing Emory with pain pills despite the immensity of Emory’s pain because her mother thinks she’ll turn into an addict like her brother to Emory’s immense infatuation for her next door neighbor, Gage, who’s a popular athlete and hides his make-out sessions with Emory because she’s not all that and her humiliation when he publicly demonstrates that she’s not all that. With each of these bits, Glasgow makes us feel what it’s like to be Emory. And then Emory’s own conflict when she becomes friends and maybe more with a boy who was part of Joey’s stoner crowd.
It’s a wild naked ride in ice cold weather but the reader feels all the feels, good and bad. Glasgow doesn’t hesitate to make her reader feel all the things–and I don’t mean that lightly in the current vernacular–we really do run a gamut with the reader always hoping that Emory will have her own “Rocky” moment.
An amazing book by a talented writer.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies