Almost Home: A Novel

Almost Home: A Novel

by Pam Jenoff

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416597940
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication date: 02/03/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 64,106
File size: 451 KB

About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller The Kommandant's Girl, which also earned her a Quill Award nomination. Pam lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

I barrel through the double doors and across the lobby of the State Department, bypassing the metal detector and waving my plastic identification badge at the guard, who nods in recognition. My heels echo off the marble floor as I race down the corridor past the row of brightly colored flags, the tall glass windows revealing smokers huddled under umbrellas in the courtyard. A display of student artwork left over from Black History Month decorates the otherwise drab white walls.

I reach the elevators and press the up button. In an office across the hall, two jacketless, gray-haired men wearing identical brown ties lean over a cubicle divider discussing Cuba, their voices dispassionate and unhurried. A dying fluorescent lightbulb flickers angrily in the ceiling fixture above them. I turn back and press the button several more times, tapping my foot. The smell of scorched coffee, an empty pot left too long on the burner, hangs in the air. The door creaks open and I leap into the elevator, swiping my badge in front of the access scanner before pressing the button. Don't stop, I pray, leaning sideways against the faux wood paneling and watching the numbers light up as the elevator slowly rises.

A minute later, the door opens. I step out, then pause, momentarily forgetting my haste. August and imposing, the executive floor is worlds away from the bureaucratic lethargy below. Oil paintings of every secretary of state since Jefferson line the tastefully lit beige walls, staring down at me sternly, reminding me to stand straight. Large potted plants sit to either side of the elevator bank.

Steeling myself for the conversation I am about to have, I turn away from the closed double doors that lead to the Secretary's office, following the chronological progression of gold-framed portraits down the navy-carpeted hallway. At John Calhoun, I stop and adjust my collar before turning the knob of a familiar, broad oak door.

"Hello, Patty," I say, entering the office and passing through the reception area before the stout, auburn-haired secretary can try to stop me. I knock twice on an unmarked door at the far end of the room, then open it without waiting.

"I want London," I announce.

Behind the massive oak desk, Paul Van Antwerpen looks up from the cable he was reading and blinks once behind his glasses.

"Oh?" he replies, raising his eyebrows and running his hand through his thinning hair.

I hesitate. For the normally impassive Van Antwerpen, this is quite a reaction. He is surprised, I can tell, by the abruptness of my entrance as well as the nature of my request. The senior director of intelligence operations is a formal man; one schedules appointments to see him and does so sparingly.

"Yes," I croak at last.

He gestures with his head to the two chairs opposite his desk. "Sit down."

I perch on the chair closest to the door. The office is immaculate as always, the desk bare except for a few tidy stacks of documents, the walls adorned only by the obligatory photographs of the President and Secretary of State. On the matching credenza behind his desk sits a telephone with direct lines to the Secretary and the National Security Advisor. Encrypted text, providing real-time updates on intelligence situations worldwide, scrolls down a computer screen.

I smooth my skirt. "Sir, I know we had an agreement..."

"Have an agreement," he corrects. "One year."

"Yes." A year hadn't sounded that bad when the Director proposed it. Of course I was in the hospital at the time, two days out of Liberia, ten hours out of surgery, and so high on painkillers I scarcely remember his visit. Now, eight months later, a year seems like an eternity, indentured servitude. Not that working for the Director is exactly punishment; as his liaison to the National Security Council, I've spent my days shuttling between meetings at Foggy Bottom and the White House. I've gained a view of foreign policy at the highest levels of government, and I've seen things most people could not imagine in a lifetime. But I have to get out of here now.

And he's going to say no.

The Director, one of the only people who can still get away with smoking in the building, reaches for the humidor that sits on the far right corner of his desk. I fight the urge to grimace as he clips the end of a cigar and lights it.

"Don't get me wrong," he says at last, puffing a cloud of smoke away from me. "I didn't really think I would be able to keep you here a full year. I've had five calls about you in the last month alone. Karachi, Jakarta, Montenegro, Lagos, Bogota, all of the garden spots."

I smile inwardly. "Garden spots" is a facetious term diplomats used to describe the real hardship posts. Those are the most interesting assignments and until now, I always sought them out, proud to say I had never been stationed in a place where one could actually drink the tap water.

"And now you're asking me," he pauses, "for London...? " He sets the cigar in an empty glass ashtray behind one of the stacks, then pulls a file with my name typed across the top from his desk drawer. My stomach twitches. I didn't know he kept a dossier on me. "You've turned down London two, no, three times before. You don't even like changing planes there." He sets the file down, eyes me levelly. "So what gives?"

I avert my gaze, staring over Van Antwerpen's shoulder and out the window behind his desk. To the far left, I can just make out the Washington Monument in the distance, the pale stone obelisk muted against the gray sky. I swallow hard and shift in my seat. "It's personal."

I watch him hesitate, uncertain how to respond. Normally, such an explanation would be unacceptable. As intelligence officers, we are trained to separate our work and personal lives, almost to the point of forgoing the latter. But I've earned my stripes, spent nearly the past ten years putting my life on the line. He'll feel that he owes me this much. He has to feel that way; I am counting on it.

"If you'd prefer, I can take a leave of absence..." I begin, but the Director waves his hand.

"No, they'd kill me if I let you do that. You can have London. Martindale," he pronounces the name as though it hurts his throat, "will be glad to have you. She tried to steal you away from me months ago."

I smile, picturing Maureen Martindale, the vivacious, red-haired deputy chief of mission in London and Van Antwerpen's longtime rival. I haven't seen Mo in three years, not since we worked together in San Salvador. My next move would have been to call her, if the Director refused my request. He closes the file. "We're all set then. Just give me a few weeks to get the paperwork in order."

I take a deep breath. "I'm sorry, sir, that won't work. I need to get over there immediately. Tonight, if possible. Tomorrow at the latest." I know that I am pushing the envelope, risking his wrath by asking too much. "I'll buy my own plane ticket and use vacation time until the paperwork comes through. If it's a question of my projects here, I'll finish up remotely, help find my replacement..." The desperation in my voice grows.

Van Antwerpen is staring at me now, eyes skeptical. "What's wrong, Weiss?"

I hesitate. It is a question I no longer know how to answer. "Nothing, sir," I lie at last.

"If you say so." I can tell from his tone that he does not believe me, but I know he will not pry further. Paul Van Antwerpen is an extraordinarily distant man. In the years I have worked for him, I've never learned where he is from or whether he even has a family, and he affords his officers the same kind of privacy. His standoffish nature bothered me in the early years when I mistook it for disapproval. Now I just accept it as part of who he is, like the Coke-bottle glasses and the cigars. He stands up, extending his hand. "Good luck, Weiss. Whatever it is, I hope it works out."

So do I. "Thank you, sir."

Two hours later, I climb into the back of a battered navy blue taxi. "Arlington, please. Columbia Pike," I request, pulling the door closed behind me. The taxi driver grunts and veers the car away from the curb onto the rain-soaked street. Garbled Indian music plays over the radio. I slump back against the torn vinyl seat, exhausted. The reality of what I've done crashes down on me like a wave.


The cab lurches to a sudden stop as the traffic light at Virginia Avenue turns from yellow to red, sending the small cardboard box of personal belongings I was balancing on my knees to the floor. I bend to pick up the contents. Not much to it: a "Solidarity" coffee mug given to me by Kasia, one of our Foreign Service nationals in Warsaw, as a going-away present; a few reports that I need to finish up in London that I cannot entrust to the diplomatic pouch; a wood-framed picture of my parents. I lift the photograph from the box, studying it. They are standing by the old maple tree in the backyard of our home in Vermont with identical burgundy wool sweaters tossed over their shoulders, looking like they stepped out of a J.Crew catalog. I run my finger over the glass. My mother's hair, dark and curly like mine, is streaked with more gray than I remember. There won't be time to see them before I leave. I know, though, that they have come to accept my abrupt, unannounced departures, the weeks and sometimes months without communication that my work necessitates. They will understand, or pretend to anyway, I think, gratitude mixing with guilt. They deserve grandchildren, or at least a daughter who calls before moving out of the country.

As the taxi climbs the Roosevelt Bridge toward Arlington, I sit back and reach into my coat pocket for my cell phone. For a moment I consider following protocol for once and going through the State Department travel office for my plane ticket. Then, deciding against it, I dial zero. "British Airways," I request. The operator promptly transfers me to a prerecorded message of a woman's voice with an English accent asking me to hold for the next available representative, followed by a Muzak version of Chopin's Polonaise.

On hold, I lean sideways and press my forehead against the cool glass window, staring out at the white gravestones that line the wet, green hills of Arlington National Cemetery. I have been there twice for funerals, one several years ago and one last summer, both for diplomats whose patriotic valor earned them an exception to Arlington's military-only burial policy. I think of Eric and once again see him fall backward out of the helicopter as it rises from the Liberian ground, feel the Marine's arm clasped around my waist to stop me from jumping out after him. I swallow hard, my once-broken collarbone aching from dampness and memory.

"How may I help you?" A British woman's voice, live this time, jars me from my thoughts. I quickly convey my request. "London, tonight?" the woman repeats, sounding surprised. "I'll check if we have anything available. If not, can you travel tomorrow?"

"No, it has to be tonight." Panic rises. If I do not leave now, I might never go.

"One moment." On the other end of the phone there is silence, then the sound of fingernails clicking against a keyboard. "There are a few seats on the six o'clock flight, but we only have business class available."

"Fine." I am certain that Van Antwerpen will sign off on my reimbursement and that his signature carries enough weight to okay the upgrade, as well as the fact that I wasn't going through the travel office or flying an American carrier. I recite my credit card number, which I know by heart, then memorize the confirmation number the operator gives me. "I'll pick up the ticket at check-in," I say before closing the phone.

Five minutes later, the taxi pulls up in front of my apartment building, a nondescript high-rise that caters to transient government workers. Inside, I ride the elevator to the sixth floor and turn the key in the lock of my studio apartment. Opening the venetian blinds, I look around the nearly empty room, noticing for the first time how stark the bare, white walls look. Then I sink down to the futon bed, the only piece of furniture in the room. My mind reels back to the hospital eight months earlier, when I lamented finding a place in Washington to live. "I don't want to sign a lease. I don't want to buy furniture," I complained to my visiting mother.

"You can break the lease, you can sell the furniture," she soothed, brushing my hair from my face as though I were five years old. "It's not permanent." Looking around the room now, I realize that she was right. The lease has a diplomatic transfer clause in it that will enable me to get out penalty-free. The rental store will pick up the bed the following day. In less than twenty-four hours, it will be as though I never lived here at all. Like everywhere else since England.

I reach into the large leather tote bag that serves as my briefcase and pull out the envelope that started everything. It was waiting for me at the reception desk of the apartment building this morning. At first I hesitated, surprised by the delivery; what little mail I received almost always went to my parents' house. Then, spotting Sarah's familiar return address, I tore open the envelope. I had not seen her in more than two years, not since I had changed planes in Johannesburg and she had driven six hours from her hometown of Durban to meet me. In a small airport café that smelled of coffee and rotten meat, Sarah told me the news: her mystery illness, the one that made her right hand go limp eighteen months earlier, had finally been diagnosed. "It's amyotrophic lateral sclerosis," she explained calmly. I stared at her blankly. "ALS. What you Americans refer to as Lou Gehrig's disease."

What Stephen Hawking has, I remembered. I had seen the famous professor in his wheelchair once or twice on the streets at Cambridge. Picturing his wizened body, the way he slumped helplessly in his wheelchair, my stomach clenched. Would Sarah become like that?

"What will you do?" I asked, pushing the image from my mind.

"I'm going back to London," Sarah replied. "The doctors are better there."

"Come stay with me?" I suggested.

But Sarah shook her head, laughing. "Jordie, your home is a post office box."

She was right, I realized; I didn't have an actual home to offer her. I took her hand. "What can I do?"

"Nothing," she answered firmly. "I'll call you if I need you." We hugged good-bye a few minutes later. Watching Sarah walk away, I was taken by her calm demeanor. She always had a hard time of it. Her mother died of Alzheimer's disease and her father disappeared into the bush when Sarah was ten.

When I reached my hotel room that night, I logged in on my laptop and researched ALS. It was a death sentence, I learned, my eyes filling with tears. Gradual, complete paralysis. No known cure. I pictured Sarah's freckled face as we parted, her blue eyes so unafraid. I never should have left her.

After that day, Sarah and I stayed in touch by letter and the occasional phone call. In the past year, though, her letters had grown less frequent until they had stopped entirely six months earlier. I tried repeatedly to reach her by telephone, without success. Then this letter arrived. A single typed page, signature barely legible at the bottom, it was mostly routine, an apology for not having written sooner, some small talk about the weather in London. And then there was the last sentence: "I wish that I could see you again. If only you would come..." I sat motionless, reading and rereading that one sentence. Sarah was there for my last days at Cambridge, knew how I felt about England and why. She never would have asked me to come unless she was desperate. It was, quite simply, the request of a dying woman.

I could say no, I realized, explain that I could not get away from work. Though Sarah would not believe my excuse, she would understand. But it was Sarah who was there for me at college, ready to listen over tea, no matter how small the problem or late the hour, who had put me on the plane home from England at the end when I was so overcome with grief that I could barely walk, and who had traveled the globe three times to visit me since. She was that friend, loyalty unmuted by distance or the passage of years. Now she needed me, and not in that three-day-visit-and-leave-again way, but really needed me. Now it was my turn.

I refold the letter and place it back in my bag, then reach across the futon and pick up a flannel shirt. Mike's shirt. I draw it to my nose and inhale deeply, seeing his brown hair and puppy dog eyes. We've dated casually these past few months -- drinks after work at one of the L Street bars between his assignments on the Vice President's Secret Service detail, or, like last evening, a late visit when he returned from a trip. Physical comfort, warmth for the cold winter nights. Nothing serious, though I can tell from the way he looks at me that he hopes it will become so. I should call him, tell him that I am leaving. But I know that he will try to talk me out of going, and then, when he realizes he can't, he will insist on seeing me off at the airport. No, it's better this way. I fold the shirt and set it down. I'll mail it back with a note.

I stand up again and begin to pack my clothes and a few other belongings. Forty-five minutes later I am done. My whole life in two suitcases. There are other things, of course, dozens of boxes of books, pictures, and other mementos in government storage and my parents' attic, things I haven't seen in so many years that they feel like part of another lifetime. I think again of the photograph of my parents. Sometimes I wish I could live a normal life like them, full of backyards and dishes and plants. I wish I could be content.

"If wishes were horses," I say softly, "beggars would ride." The expression of my mother's, one I haven't thought of in years, rushes back to me. Everything seems to be coming back today. I pick up my bags and head for the door, closing it without looking behind me. Twenty minutes later, I climb into another damp and musty cab bound for Dulles Airport. As the car pulls away from the apartment building, and the Washington skyline recedes behind me, my spirits begin to lift. I am on the road again, the only place that truly feels like home.

Copyright © 2009 by Pam Jenoff

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Almost Home 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
kiwifortyniner on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I have read another book by this author which I enjoyed so I was keen to read this one. This was set in present times unlike the first which was set during the second world war. I found it to be a good read. I wanted to keep reading to see who the bad guy actually was and see how the plot developed.. The ending was a surprise and it left the story up in the air so now I will have to read the follow up when it comes out.
SilversReviews on LibraryThing 7 months ago
She HAD to get to London but had no explanation for her boss. He granted her permission, and she left that very evening.Jordan arrived in London ready to take a cab to see her very ill friend, but her co-worker met her at the airport....oh no, they do have an assignment for her. An assignment in London wasn't the real reason she wanted to return to London, and when she does arrive, all the familiar landmarks she remembered when she was at Cambridge, make her heart twist and bring tears to her eyes as she remembers the reason that made her leave right after graduation. Seeing Chris, a former college classmate, and then seeing him disappear from a dinner party, also didn't help with the memories.When Chris finally does appear, he tells Jordan something that she can't ignore, and she must return to Cambridge University to find answers. The journey back to her college days is emotionally painful, particularly since she wanted so desperately to never have to re-live an experience that changed her entire life and up to now had almost been put out of her conscious thoughts.Meanwhile as Jordan is dealing with this information from Chris, her assignment and this situation seem to have some connection...people go missing, papers disappear, someone is following her, betrayal among friends and lovers, people are dying in "accidents" and more information comes to the surface along with a direct order to stop the investigation of a company who they know has something to hide. The story unravels, the mystery is solved, Jordan's pain doesn't disappear but she finally does have some hope about what caused all this in the first place.To me the book was not as good as her other two really didn't get interesting until page 200 or so¿it didn¿t seem tied together until toward the end. The ending was suspenseful and a surprise, though.I will give it a 4/5 only because it did get come together toward the end of the book.
dianaleez on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Pam Jenoff's `Almost Home' is the story of Jordan Weiss, an American foreign service officer, who is haunted by her past. Ten years before the novel takes place Jordan attended Cambridge University. While there she had an affair with a fellow student, Jared, who drowned shortly before their graduation. The Jordan we meet as the novel opens is rather cold, mechanical, and devoid of personality; it is only through the frequent flashbacks that we come to see her as a more sympathetic character. Jordan returns to England to care for a dying college friend, and, once there, begins to investigate Jared's death. `Almost Home' is a suspense novel, and, as such, the emphasis is more on action than characterization. None of the characters are fully developed; the reader learns little about Jordan - she's smart, pushy, confident, loyal, athletic - but not especially likeable. And this, in my opinion, is the major flaw of the novel. In a novel where the plotting doesn't bear close scrutiny, there has to be something to draw the reader in. Jordan's lack of personality is a major drawback. I understand that the author was portraying a still grieving woman, but few authors can afford a boring protagonist. Jared, as seen in the frequent flashbacks, is the most engaging character perhaps because he is always out of reach. On my personal 1-5 scale, three stars is `good enough to finish, but not to read again.' And that's what this one gets. If you're thinking about buying, I suggest that you read the sample provided by Amazon; what you see is what you'll get; you may well enjoy it. The novel retains the same consistent quality throughout until the last few rushed final pages.
sagustocox on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Almost Home by Pam Jenoff is a novel of international intrigue, significant struggle, and humiliating heartbreak. Jordan Weiss is a Foreign Service Officer working in Washington, D.C., who receives a letter from her college friend Sarah asking her to return to London as Sarah struggles with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS). Once in London, a place Jordan never expected to see again after her tragic last semester, she takes a job as a investigative diplomat working to uncover financial connections between companies and the Albanian mob."Chris pulls out my chair and I sit down awkwardly, conscious of his presence, the way he hovers a second too long behind me as though afraid I will flee." (Page 64)Jenoff really knows how to set the mood. Almost Home is full of dark imagery, fast-paced chases, and tension as thick as butter. Readers will be kept guessing as to who is on the wrong side of the equation. Jordan is likable and draws readers into the story, sweeping readers into her grief over the decades ago loss of her college sweetheart, Jared, and the mystery surrounding his death. There is tension between Jared and Jordan when they first meet as part of a rowing team, but eventually their mutual love of the river and the team gives way to their own passions."Trafalgar Square on a Monday morning is a swarming mass of activity. Cars and buses move along the roadway in fits and starts, jamming up at the traffic lights, filling the air with thick exhaust. Swarms of commuters, invisible beneath a sea of black umbrellas, jostle as they make their way from the buses to the city, from Charing Cross Tube station to Whitehall." (Page 131)Tension and suspense are dominant atmospheres in Almost Home, but the novel is more than just a political thriller, it deals with deep grief and healing. There also are lighter moments between Jordan and Sarah that illustrate a part of Jordan that has been dormant since the tragic loss of Jared. The dynamic between the two is strong and full of sisterly love, which can transcend any situation.Jenoff's experience as a diplomat is clearly present in the novel as Jordan deals with bureaucracy and cloak-and-dagger tactics. There are some points in the novel where Jordan appears to be out of her element and a novice diplomat, but given the recent debacle in Liberia and the death of a colleague; her flight to London to be with her sick friend; and all that is uncovered about the death of Jared, her mistakes and bad judgment should be expected. The pressures she feels and the memories that haunt her are too much for any one person to deal with a high-stress position with government. Jordan is a complex character dealing with new grief, renewed old grief, and a demanding job in a city she once abandoned. Overall, Almost Home is a fast-paced, highly emotional, well-written novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marvelous reading
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable and kept you guessing,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sel43 More than 1 year ago
Started reading this on a plane and rather than go to bed when I got home, I stayed up through the night to finish the book. Loved it! The characters are well developed and intriguing; the setting is real and the attention to details is superb. I ran out the next day to buy the sequel. Didn't love it as much as Almost Home, but I would still highly recommend both!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mytwocents310 More than 1 year ago
This was my first Pam Jenoff book, but I am now ordering the sequel and her previous novels as I absolutely loved this book. At first her personal narrative style annoyed me, but I quickly grew accustomed to it. The storyline, character and plot development was flawless.
pisceanwench13 More than 1 year ago
This book grabs you from the start and keeps you interested. As you meet the characters, you immediately empathize with the lead and follow her as she grows and finds the path that releases her from the past. What great character development and such an interesting look into the traditions that shape our live! Well done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lisa567 More than 1 year ago
This was my first Pam Jenoff book. I read it in a day and then sent it on to a friend. It is any easy read, perfect for the beach or a slow afternoon. The plot will keep you interested but you can be interupted and not loose the whole story line. Great for a busy Mom picking up kids after activities. Just through it in your purse and go!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Profe More than 1 year ago
Although Pam Jenoff's books are a bit formulaic, I love them all the same! This is her third and I have read all three. I was particularly interested in this book since I had studied abroad (although not in England) as the main character of this book had. I recommend all of Jenoff's novels if you want a nice easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
crimekitty763 More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed with this book. After reading her two previous books, THE KOMMANDANT'S GIRL THE DIPLOMAT'S WIFE I was expecting another exciting book. This book was very slow moving and very predictable. I could (and did) set this book aside to read a different book. I did finish this book but only because I make a concerted effort to finish every book I start.
katknit More than 1 year ago
It's difficult to believe that Jordan Weiss is an intelligence officer. In Almost Home, she is introduced as such, with allusions to dodging hails of gunfire and helicopter escapes in Liberia. The plot of this novel is an intriguing one, and it plays out with a fair measure of success. Jordan returns to London ten years after earning her Cambridge degree, ten years after the tragic, seemingly accidental death of Jared Short, the man she had hoped to marry. Now she finds herself enmeshed in a case involving money laundering by terrorists. To complicate matters, Chris, Jared's best friend, has discovered that he was murdered, and lures her into helping him uncover the truth about his death. Jordan accepts her new assignment, but for such a seasoned operative, in this story she copes with stress by running away - literally. She impresses as a bumbler, incapable of asserting her own will, being pulled hither and yon by whomever she is with at the moment. Death follows in Jordan's wake. Often verging on hysteria, it's a wonder that, eventually, she does resolve the mysteries, but not without a lot of help. The book is also plagued by annoying little inconsistencies, as when on one page, a colleague's sweater is blue, then paragraphs later, pink. Five stars for plotting and writing style, three for characters and attention to detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Aradanryl More than 1 year ago
A good story with likeable characters. I enjoyed reading this with a purring cat on my lap and a cup of hot chocolate at the end of a long day. The story line wasn't taxing and I enjoyed it while it lasted. Some of the story twists were intriguing and so it kept my attention throughout the book. The loose ends and unfinished threads didn't bother me or reduce my enjoyment.

I felt the story would have been equally good without a couple of occasions of gratuitious and detailed promiscuity but it wasn't to the degree I stopped reading it. I appreciated that the violent scenes didn't feel overly gratuitious or gory.

I probably would read more by this author.
bookwormjm More than 1 year ago
i cannot say enough about this book! i have read pam jenoff's other two novels so i couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. i read it in two days (i really wanted to call in sick from work just so i wouldn't have to put it down)! the main character (jordan) is a diplomat working for government when she decides to take an assignment in london due to a friend's illness. she has not been to london in ten years-since her boyfriend drowned while they were attending cambridge. when she gets back she starts to question if her boyfriend truly drowned or if he was the victim of foul play. as she starts to poke around london and cambridge she realizes that her boyfriend was keeping a dangerous secret that could also put her in danger. with tons of twists and turns and a surprise ending i highly recommend this book to everyone! a+
Robynn More than 1 year ago
Watching paint dry is more exciting than this book! PLodding along like a worn horse and no action or dialogue to make it interesting. THis author needs to read some real thrillers and learn pacing and interesting plot developments. My goodness, this is a snooze. Hit chapter 8 and barely no movement or action. Really? Life is too short. Sorry I tried to read this.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
ALMOST HOME by Pam Jenoff is a mystery story that pulls surprises from every page. Jordan Weiss works for the US State Department and considers herself fearless, capable and adventurous. She enjoys being on the go and tackling anything thrown at her. But, when she is asked by a friend to return to Cambridge, England, she is beyond anxious. As rowing crew members on the top team at school, life was spectacular for Jordan, her boyfriend, Jared, and their six other crew members. Now, ten years later, what happened to her during her college years at Cambridge still haunts her. The love of her life, Jared, was drowned there on the most exciting day of their lives. Now, returning to England on a State Department mission in England, Jordan chases down a mystery that is beyond anything she could possibly imagine. It also seems to involve Jared's death. It may change her life forever. This story moves with an unexpected pace, with a story line that is all too possibly real. A mystery read that encompasses today's world with a thrilling and unsettling story line. Excellent step into the mystery world for Jenoff!