Hello my lovelies! Today I’m reviewing Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper (author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James), which was very kindly sent to me by Penguin Books!
What the book is about…
Newfoundland, Canada, 1992. When all the fish vanish from the waters, and the cod industry abruptly collapses, it’s not long before the people begin to disappear from the town of Big Running as well. As residents are forced to leave the island in search of work, 10-year-old Finn Connor suddenly finds himself living in a ghost town. There’s no school, no friends and whole rows of houses stand abandoned. And then Finn’s parents announce that they too must separate if their family is to survive.
But Finn still has his sister, Cora, with whom he counts the dwindling boats on the coast at night, and Mrs Callaghan, who teaches him the strange and ancient melodies of their native Ireland. That is until his sister disappears, and Finn must find a way of calling home the family and the life he has lost.
What I thought of it…
This was an odd little story but an enjoyable one. There was a stark beauty to the book that reminded me of The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. The writing was quite simplistic; the lack of speech marks and run-on sentences gave the book a dreamlike quality that I really enjoyed. I imagine the meandering nature of the story and the slow pace will frustrate some readers but it worked well for me.
The stories within the story (contributed by Mrs Callaghan) were a nice touch and allowed for a lot of metaphor and deeper meanings. Finn is desperate to bring the people of his town and his family back together, and his struggles will definitely have you sympathising (unless you’re completely heartless haha).
I’m struggling to find enough to say about this book as not a whole lot happens! This is definitely a character-focused book, with very little plot to speak of. But the message at its heart is a lovely one. Our Homesick Songs depicts the importance of family, friendship and loyalty to the people and places we love. It definitely made me ponder a lot; I found it a very interesting read and rated it 4/5 stars!
Thank you again to the lovely people at Penguin for sending this one my way!
Has anyone else read this one? Leave me a comment below! x