Homecoming

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
When Katey Bruscke's bus arrives in her unnamed hometown, she finds the scenery blurred, "as if my hometown were itself surfacing from beneath a black ocean." At the conclusion of new novelist Gussoff's "day-in-the-life-of" first-person narrative, the reader feels equally blurred by the relentless dysfunction, unhappiness and drug-taking self-destruction of Katey, her family and friends. Katey receives a phone call from the police asking her to identify the body of her older sister Reese, an addict who has been shot in a "drug-related" crime. Leaving the police station, Katey takes the bus to the town she left two years earlier--but she does not inform her family of Reese's death. In the next 24 hours, she reconnects with addicted, doomed high school friends, gets a new tattoo over her heart (a cameo), and visits her younger sister, Shay (after having slept with Shay's boyfriend). In repeated backstory scenarios, the childhood Katey appears destined for drug addiction: "Our family lived on pills. Our mother didn't believe in pain." Katie wonders "how the three of us didn't have major accidents, something disfiguring," then realizes that Reese's death is indeed such an event, and that she must save herself from a similar end. A painful expos of how we avoid feeling, this can be a demanding book for the reader. In the end, though, it works effectively as a prose poem about a nightmare passage in one woman's life. (Nov.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781852424589
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
  • Publication date: 6/28/2000
  • Series: High Risk Series
  • Pages: 160
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.53 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2001

    Hysterically Funny!

    This is a great book! It kept me laughing for hours and hours. Everything about it was humorous in some way -- and the scene with the rhubarb is not to be BELIEVED! Truly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2001

    A Lyrical Tribute

    A short, yet emotionally challenging tale of the death of a sister. Did Katey learn from Reese? Go with Katey on this pilgrimage that examines and reflects the power of place, the pull (and push) of family, of sisterhood. Our protagonist simultaneously avoids and throws herself headlong through this journey. Gussoff's prose puts you there seeing, smelling, sensing what Katey does. Let her take you on this cathartic trip. I can't wait to see where Ms Gussoff takes us next!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2001

    Difficult but worth it

    I think this is an important book. I found many passages difficult to stomach, but the writing was deeply layered and so original that it was worth the struggle. This writer understands sorrow. While I have never lost a family member, I felt like I was feeling everything Katey, the main character was feeling. It was like being on a journey in one young woman's life. I did really identify with the 'you can never go home again' theme in the book. It was accurate, the hardship of trying to go 'home' after being away for so long, where everything is both familiar and very, very strange at the same time. It was also a very funny book. I think I must be about the same age (I am 25), because the cultural references added quite a lot, and some of the other characters seemed like people I know in my life. I didn't think I would like Homecoming when I started it, but it has stayed with me since. To me, that makes a good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    painfully fine

    Gussoff's short novel is a familiar read if you have ever lost a loved one. Katey, the main character, walks through a postmodern landscape of burnt bridges, unspoken half-truths, secret gestures, and isolation, yet remains undeniably human. As she struggles to understand the events leading to her sister's murder, Katey really endeavors to understand the human condition. Do I sounld overblown? If so, it's only because this novel engaged me in a way I haven't felt in a very long time. Caren Gussoff has a fan in me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2001

    Very Underwhelming

    I found this to be a fairly boring book, and the writing certainly isn't to my taste. The writing is very high-fallutin'; the novel practically stuffs its message down your throat at every turn, and I often laughed at passages which were not meant to be funny. The characters did not seem to be very realistic and the plot bumps along rather woefully. There seems to be some real feeling buried in here, but the book keeps getting in its way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2001

    Power and Silence

    Katey is a drifter, wading through an uncertain present as she is smothered by her past. When her sister Reese, lost to addiction, turns up in the morgue, Katey returns home. Moving through Katey's old haunts, pain, and memory, Caren Gussoff's unsentimental tale explores both Reese's death and Katey's inability to share the news with her family. A novel of curious power, where silence seldom remains on the page. I recommend it highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2001

    Gritty and brilliant.

    First novelist Gussoff's primere work is a haunting and difficult tale of isolation and redemption. When Katey discovers her sister Reese has been murdered, Katey journeys to find answers about her sister's drug addled life. In the process, she embarks on a journey of self discovery comparable to an urban gothic Ulysses. Beautiful prose, ground breaking metaphors, Gussoff is a force to be reckoned with.

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