Author: Kate Morton
Reviewed by Chloe Fuksa, Putnam Six Bookstore
If you’re a soccer fan like this reviewer, you’ll certainly be tuning in this August to the Women’s World Cup in Australia. If you want a book to read during warm-ups and halftime, author Kate Morton’s latest release, Homecoming, would be a great pick. Set in southern Australia, this historical mystery alternates between Jess Turner-Bridges in 2018, the Turner family in 1959, and excerpts from a true crime book. Coming in at almost 550 pages, you may wonder if it will take you until the next World Cup to finish, but fear not, Homecoming is a marvelous book that you won’t want to put down.
In 1959, late on Christmas Eve, Isabel Turner and her children are discovered dead alongside a creek on their property. Not only is there the question of how they died, but also, when the police arrive, the infant baby is not in her carrier and is nowhere to be found. Fast forward almost sixty years, Jess returns Down Under when her beloved grandmother, Nora, takes a fall and ends up in intensive care. Nora’s cryptic last words to Jess don’t make any sense – until the latter finds a book at the house written shortly after the mysterious deaths of the Turner family. What transpires over the course of Homecoming then is a combination of what the small town was like in 1959 and after, what Jess discovers more present-day while talking to people who knew Nora, and the case that the author of the true crime book laid out.
To some readers, all of the jumps in time might be too much. For me though, the author wrote so masterfully that it was never confusing or unclear. It is as if Morton is a tour guide, going alongside readers and ushering them the whole way through. Surprisingly, this was my first ever Kate Morton book to read – and it most certainly will not be my last. The scale of Homecoming is impressive, the beautiful, smooth writing is impressive, the way it can utterly absorb readers into a fictional decades-long mystery is impressive. You might just find yourself forgetting that soccer is even on!
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