“Home to Brambleberry Creek” by Elizabeth Bromke is the story of a family, focusing particularly on one of its members named Morgan Jo Coyle, who finds herself unable to connect with it after a traumatic event. Morgan is the granddaughter of Essie Nelson, who is the owner of the farmland, house and surrounding land that they live on; Essie and her husband Bill had grown tobacco in that farm just like Essie’s father had. However, they were unable to sustain and really flourish as much as the previous generation had. Essie and Bill thus have had a hard life working and living on the farm with their family.
Since the time that Morgan’s mother, Carla May, gave birth to her out of wedlock, they’ve lived in the big farm house on the property. Morgan, who was closer to her grandparents than her other cousins, has a sudden fallout with her grandmother over a terrible event and hasn’t talked to her since then. She has also distanced herself from her family by taking up a job in Arizona.
However, when an illness strikes Essie, Morgan decides to visit the big house and try to reintegrate herself into the family, to get out of the emotional limbo she had put herself into. Will things go as she plans? Will she be able to forgive her grandmother? What had triggered that traumatic event? Will she finally understand her grandmother? Read the book to get these questions answered.
The story starts off interestingly and kept me hooked with its characters and their quirks. The family’s dynamic and day-to-day quarrels made the book very relatable. Amidst all these twisted thrillers I usually read, it was nice to read about a very ordinary family with common problems.
However, despite the book’s promising start, the story felt directionless; there were too many things happening with too many people that I couldn’t get invested in. It did not help that the central conflict of the book is revealed well after the halfway point of the story. It was only during the last couple of chapters did it coalesce into a sharp point and grab my emotions.
I would say this book is a good read for anyone who wants a light, heartfelt story about ordinary families and common everyday issues.
This book gets 4 out of 5 stars, boosted by its final chapters.
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