Author: Eleni McKnight
Review: The opening to Home was strange and a little confusing but amazing, we learn from the offset that this is a dystopian zombie novel and that our protagonist Suzannah lives in the Handmaiden House with other humans with their society regulated and controlled by the Deacon. This society is quite religious and archaic with the women being the weaker sex and they aren’t allowed to look at men sexually until they become wives and even then they don’t get much more freedom and after an innocent accident Suzannah is taken to be punished for compromising her purity despite having done nothing wrong.
I felt very sorry for Suzannah during her punishment but all is forgiven rather quickly and she is to hone her wifely skills on Silas – the supposed object of her desires – but she will be seen as tainted by many people within the home and may not be chosen for a wife. As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel Suzannah is redemmed for her sins and is returned to the community but she seems to fit in better with the Maars family than her own and she is rather taken back with their odd mannerisms. Suzannah begins to learns that not all the families within the home blindly obey the Deacon and the Maars are the perfect example. Dr. Maars doesn’t beat his wife or children the way the Elders encourage, he also doesn’t control his wife he allows his wife to have her own opnions and voice initially this confuses Suzannah but she finds she enjoys the lifestyle they live and although there is a slim chance she will be Silas’ wife she does hope. Suzannah learns the true horrors that the Deacon and Elders are hiding and how many women and babies are dying under their orders but there is a quiet rebellion within the home starting with the Maars family and Suzannah.
As we approach the half way mark in the novel Suzannah is beginning to realises that her life within the Handmaiden House is a lie and the Maars family are willing to show her the real world outside the hope, they are willing to show her the truth and all the while we see Silas and Suzannah becoming ever closer. As we cross into the second half of the novel we see Silas and Suzannah’s relationship developing further and faster and while she is punished for it Suzannah no longer sees it as wrong but Goody tries to guide her to be able to have what she wants in a manner that wouldn’t arouse the suspicions of the Elders. Suzannah learns in a very difficult way that the reanimated corpses they have been told about all their lives aren’t even real it is just another tactic the Elders and the Deacon uses to control the people of the commune. All the time Silas and Suzannah are together Elder Morris amoung others has his eyes trained on Suzannah. They often make disgusting comments about raping her should she been sent to the hard labour camp. Morris does everything he can to keep Silas and Suzannah apart for as long as he can but the tension and suspense is ramping up meaning their can’t be much time left for the pair and they may have to leave the Home soon.
As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel Suzannah realises she is in love with Silas and will to sacrifice anything and everything to have a life with him but she also realises that she can never have this inside the Home. As we enter the final section of the novel Suzannah is delivered some devasting news she is to be the second wife to Elder Morris a man she hates and they even mislead her to believe that she could become the second wife to Dr. Maars who would allow her to be with Silas, time is now running out for Suzannah she either has to submit to her fate or fight it with everything she has. Suzannah does fight for the right to be Silas’ wife but the eacon in response orders Morris to rape her taking her virginity and offers her a choice Morris’ bed or the whore camp. When the time comes Goody and Dr. Maars come through and all leave the Home to escape to the American border. The final scene of this novel were heartbreaking with a little bit of hope. We see everything the characters have gone through all their tears, their beatings and Suzannah’s rape and everything they have been fighting for.
Overall this novel definitely isn’t for the faint of heart and I would not recommend anyone who is looking for a soft read to pick this up but if you enjoyed books like Lucky by Alice Sebold then definitely give Home a try. I would recommend this novel to readers that like this genre and it highly deserves its rating but I wouldn’t recommend this book as an introduction to the genre.
This book was sent to me for review consideration by YA Bound Book Tours
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