The Road Home

The Road Home

by Kathleen Shoop


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The Long-Awaited Sequel to Award-Winning, Bestselling Author Kathleen Shoop's The Last Letter...

1891-Living separately for three years, fourteen-year-old twins, Katherine and Tommy Arthur, have done their best to make each boarding house feel like home. But unrest grows as they are driven to questionable actions just to survive. Meanwhile their desperate mother is confronted with breaking yet another promise to her children. Then a miracle descends. Hope rises on a cold, rainy night and changes everything. If Jeanie could just get word to Katherine and Tommy, she knows she can set their lives right again. Agitators, angels, and dangerous "saviors" illuminate the Arthurs' unmatched determination and smarts.

1905-Though she tries to forget the awful years that hurt so much, the memories still haunt Katherine. Now, tearful mourners at her mother's funeral force her to revisit a time in her life that both harmed and saved her in the most unexpected ways. Tommy grieves his mother's passing as well. He too is thrust backward, compelled to rediscover the events in his life that shaped the man he has become. Will he commit to reconstructing his broken life? The Arthurs come to understand that forgiveness is the only way back to hope, the only way to find all that was good in the misfortune that transformed their lives forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781511801249
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 04/29/2015
Pages: 502
Sales rank: 705,415
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.12(d)

About the Author

Bestselling author Kathleen Shoop holds a PhD in reading education and has more than 20 years of experience in the classroom. She writes historical fiction, women's fiction and romance. Shoop's novels have garnered various awards in the Independent Publisher Book Awards, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, Indie Excellence Awards, Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the San Francisco Book Festival. Kathleen has been featured in USA Today and the Writer's Guide to 2013. Her work has appeared in The Tribune-Review, four Chicken Soup for the Soul books and Pittsburgh Parent magazine. She lives in Oakmont, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.

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The Road Home 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Aiesa1 More than 1 year ago
Oh my gosh! Through several trials and tribulations, Katherine and her brother, Tommy, are separated from their mother. Misfortune forced this parting, but problems continued for the twins. Their Mother faced such hard decisions to make sure her children were to survive. Katherine and Tommy would do many things to survive. As the reader is taken thru each of their perspectives, you become one of the family. At times I wanted to yell, yet I understood the underlying cause and effect of decisions. In the end you understand the bond that ties all the family together. Kathleen Shoop has created a perfect historical look into the past.
BookwormNM More than 1 year ago
This was my first Kathleen Shoop novel and it will definitely not be my last! Although I have to admit, when I first opened the book to see it had 496 pages, my eyes got a little wider, and I thought to myself that there was no way I would get through it, it just seemed a little longer than most books I read, and I thought it would take me forever, but how silly of me, it didn't matter. Set out in 1905 in Des Moines for the funeral of their Mother, the story goes back and forth to 1891 to tell how she had to give up her two older children because of an awful family misfortune. We learn the story of each child and their mother, and what they had to endure apart, stories that will truly ignite hope. I thought it was beautifully written, taking me back to a time I am glad is long gone, yet delighted to learn about. I was fully interested throughout the book, easily finishing the 496 pages, in no time. I was a little disappointed it had to end. This was the second series in The Letter Series. The first series entitled: The Last Letter, both stand alone books. This one read well without reading the first one beforehand, yet I am eagerly seeking it out to make sure! :)
MikiHope More than 1 year ago
This is a heart rending story of a family torn apart by forces beyond their control. Written in a way that will grip you and not let you go. And the saga continues...In Book 2 we learn about what the lives of Katherine and Tommy were like after they were set from their Mother's home to board. Katherine had it the worst and has a very hard time forgiving her Mother until her Mom is dying and she is asked to care for her youngest sister who will probably never be able to care for herself. Katherine finally does make peace with her Mom but not totally until she hears how many people her Mother has helped and who all show up at the funeral. Tommy is still angry and is still harboring some ill will--plus he is still hoping to get his father back into the fold. I fully expect the next book, if there is one to focus more on Tommy and maybe a bit more on Yale.
libriamorimiei More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from beginning to end! It 'so well-written, compelling that I could not put it down. The plot is uniquely and gorgeously developed. Two children Tommy and Katherine were separated from their mother Jeanie when they were 14. Their life will be tough and difficult but all of them will fight very hard to reunite the family. The story is narrated by alternating the point of view of three main characters: a narrative choice really winning. It's the second book in " The Letters Series" but you do not have to have read the first one to enjoy this one. It 's the first novel I read of this author and I look forward to reading the others, especially the Last Letter
ptfrugal66 More than 1 year ago
I’m a fan of fiction and Kathleen Shoop’s The Road Home has taken me on a journey to and fro through the Arthur family’s lives, helping me to discover the choices made and the outcome of those choices. The die has been cast, will the family find their way home after years apart and all that life has cast their way. No matter the outcome, they realize that forgiveness is truly the way home. -LeahSay’s Views I received a copy of The Road Home for review through Beck Valley Book Tours, although all opinions are solely my own.*
MarciaLehman More than 1 year ago
I am a big fan of historical fiction. I loved The Last Letter, by Kathleen Shoop, and was thrilled to hear that she was working on another book in this series. Finally, The Road Home is here, and I loved it!! Not a sequel or a prequel, this book fills in some of the time span introduced in The Last Letter. It is a story told by three different people, Jeanie Arthur, and two of her children, Katherine and Tommy. This story also changes from one time to another, but all is so seamless and easy to follow. It delves into the hardships of family life around the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth centuries. Family life always poses interesting and sometimes daunting situations and choices, but it is difficult to place ourselves in a time long past, and to understand how and why decisions were made as they were. This continuation of Jeanie Arthur's story provides more insight into that dilemma, and into Jeanie herself. It is a story not only of situations, but of the deep and lasting love between family members, who, though separated, still long for and seek reconciliation. It is about a mother's love and determination to reunite her family and to right perceived wrongs that were necessary for survival. It hints at more to come, and I for one, will be as eagerly awaiting that installment as I was this one. Kathleen Shoop always leaves you wanting more!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ellarogue More than 1 year ago
The second book in the Letter Series by Kathleen Shoop, The Road Home, is the follow up to The Last Letter. Having not read any of the series prior to The Road Home, I still felt that the novel was a fine place to start and become aquatinted with the characters. I do not know how the series began, but I did not feel that I was lacking any story set up or important details about the characters; Shoop filled the book with enough clues and leads to lay the groundwork that may have been missing. The Road Home covers the family life and separation of Jeanie Arthur, her daughter Katherine and her son Tommy. Jeanie’s other children, Yale and James, who are deceased, are also featured. The Arthur family had fallen out of wealth and as a result lost their respective position in society and the family was splintered. This novel tells the story of what happened to the family after the split as they all try to desperately try to not only reunite, but also find themselves, while also staying alive. The Road Home is split between times; the reader will see the happenings at Jeanie Arthur’s funeral and a few chapters on, be exposed to her innermost feelings as she struggles to regain some semblance of her position and also reclaim her beloved children. The novel is long, over 400 pages and very detailed, but the chapters are clearly divided by year and narrator which gives the reader a chance to erase any confusion about who is speaking or at which part or the novel they are currently in. The chapters devoted to Jeanie and Katherine are the most interesting, Jeanie being sympathetic as the story unfolds and more is revealed about her and Katherine is strong, interesting and powerful in her own right. Katherine is boarding with an awful, cruel family, so her story is full not only of her own personal struggles within, but also real dangers that she must face and eventually escape within the home. Katherine’s story could easily be a great standalone novel. I was bored with Tommy’s story and did not really enjoy his personality and did skim at parts through his narration, eager to get back to the action of Katherine’s peril and Jeanie’s emotional reveals. The novel is split in between the years of 1891 and also 1905, often interchanging between the two, which does give some pause in order to see exactly where you are in the plot, but also acts as markers for the growth or positions of the characters. Kathleen Shoop highlights every emotion in the story very well and provides a certain level of raw exposure that not only shows vulnerability of each character, but also gives an intimate look into their daily lives, even when they are less than ideal. The Road Home is a reminder of the struggles that families often face, as a whole and also as each member struggles to find their place within the family unit.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings An epic story that takes place in just under 500 pages. Katherine, Tommy and Jeannie all take turns telling this epic story that takes place in two moments in time - 1891 as the family is separated and trying to get back together and then in 1905 as Jeannie the matriarch has passed away and the children are trying to deal with the loss. This book wasn't wordie it just had a lot of action in it and even at its length it didn't feel too long as in it had good pacing and I wouldn't have taken anything out. The thing I would add was a little more detail in the timing, I would have loved (especially in the 1891 section) to have months and a little more concept of time, I felt as though it was the year that wouldn't end!
Bookworm_Babblings More than 1 year ago
I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. The Road Home is book two of The Letter series. In this portion, Jeanie Arthur has passed away. During the funeral, Katherine and Tommy learn that during their separation from their mother, she had touched and influenced many lives. They quickly realize that they didn't really know the woman that they called mother. Secrets are revealed that opens their eyes and gives them a glimpse into the years they were apart. This was a heart rending story of love and hope. I loved the way they all turned to God during their most difficult times. Katherine's strength and determination is see inspiring, when she finally realizes her amazing gift, she embraces it wholeheartedly. Tommy's love for his family and drive to succeed is wonderful. I thought this novel was absolutely awesome, the characters were courageous, and the story came back full circle. I can't wait for book three to answer a few questions that are still lingering.
bookloverfl12 More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars -- Of course when the opportunity came up that I could read a copy of a book set in Des Moines, Iowa, I had to jump at it being that I am originally from Iowa but I now call the Sunshine State my home. This book was written very well. The attention to detail in the history was amazing. Not only was The Road Home an enjoyable read, I felt that I learned more about the history from the area I grew up around. The storylines were real to life and, at times, were difficult to imagine that someone would go through an experience like that. Some parts were heartbreaking but that realness made the book good.
wifetoalineman02 More than 1 year ago
What a heart thumping and teary eyed book to read I am always a fan of Ms. Kathleen Shoop. Her books are different from other authors. Yet, she gives her fans the best time while reading her stories. Road Home is not different from her previous books. History is the main theme of this book. Politics also is part of this book. This book is a heart thumping and teary eyed to read. You will cry but at the same time amazed of the journey between these siblings to a safe road to home. The LOVE between a Mom and kids are so inspiring with this story. Their letters from each other is very touching. I do not know how many times I cried reading this book. It is so good. I both like the siblings Tommy and Katherine but Katherine is the best for me. I feel so sad especially her experiences from the Cristoff's. I want to protect her from that bad guy. Good thing the siblings found their own happiness. It is always a nice way to end the book.
Deal_Sharing_Aunt More than 1 year ago
I could not wait to read this book, especially since I loved the first one! The author has done it again! I loved reading more about the characters I now really like and want to know more about. She has taken characters that are going through a really tough time and led them on a journey of discovery. Not only of themselves, but of their family and each other. I thought that the bonds were extra special because Katherine and Tommy are twins. It was definitely eye opening to see them young and lost, and their older versions being lost as well. There is a theme of family in the book, and I am not surprised, especially after reading the author's other books. I also loved the setting and enjoyed the history of Des Moines. I can not wait for book three. I am giving this book a 5/5. I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
BeccaW More than 1 year ago
Even though The Road Home is the 2nd book in The Letter Series, this book does not cause you to have to read the first book first in order to understand it. It could be read as a standalone if you had never read the first novel before. You meet the Arthur family once again in The Road Home. Historical fiction has always been one of my favorite genres. Kathleen Shoop’s writing style never ceases to draw me right in. I admit that I was sad when the 484 page novel ended. If an author can keep you drawn in for that long of a novel, then you know that it is something special you’re reading. The timeline for this novel, just like with The Last Letter, is set in 1891 and 1905. The chapters are separated by character and year. I absolutely love this way of telling historical fiction because each character gets their own voice. You get to know each one just a little better than you would if they had been all told through one fluid story line. Katherine and Tommy both endured hardships while they were living apart from the family, but each one was different than the other. There was no comparison hardly in what Katherine went through versus Tommy. Jeanie’s perspective chapters made you wonder how she did it. How did a mother let go of her children like that? She had to was the answer. You get to learn why and how she fought so hard to get them back. Jeanie’s funeral was more to me at the end of the novel than it was when I first started to read the book. You didn’t really know her back story or the children’s that well to let that she had died really sink in and bother you. The way this story was told had me wondering what it would have been like back then not to have a support system and to be all alone with my children. Would I have made the same choices? I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions above are 100% my own.
beckvalleybooks More than 1 year ago
Having read and been fully captivated by the first book in the Letter Series. The Last Letter, I have been eagerly awaiting this second book and couldn't wait to jump in. If you haven't read the first book don't worry as it can be easily read on its own as the author refers back to previous events, BUT in all honesty you will be missing such a touching story, the heart of what they have gone through whilst also getting to know the captivating Arthur family even more. This is a story of love, hope, regret, forgiveness and realizing not everything is as you believe it is. The story follows a mother's love for her children, her despair at not being together and the hardships they have all faced whilst being separated. Jeanie Arthur is a character that reaches out to me from the pages and literally pulls away at my heart while reading her story, I could follow her journey of obstacles and how she overcomes them all day long. The time period is 1890's when status and titles were completely different from today's world. Now finding herself divorced from her addict & two timing husband, the world is massively different in how she is treated, penniless and unable to look after her two eldest children she makes the heart wrenching sacrifice to let them go and serve other families in the hope that they one day they will find a better life. You will follow Jeannie, her daughter Katherine and son Tommy's determined story as they each tell their own tale after being ripped apart from one another throughout the book as it swaps between them as you read. Unfortunately for both Katherine and Tommy their life wasn't what their mother hoped and they both had to endure the harshness of the times they found themselves in. Will they finally be reunited? I've got to admit I was constantly apprehensive whilst reading on, anticipating what could go wrong for them, holding my breath as I read. This was another realistic and compelling tale from a truly magnificent author, I am sooooo hanging on for more of the Arthur family's story, following on from where it left, hoping that it won't be too long.
AngelaMc1 More than 1 year ago
I was hooked to this book from the beginning. I really love how well Kathleen Shoop can take me back in time. It is a book with awesome character development and very vivid descriptions. I really enjoyed this follow up to The Last Letter. I am a person that really enjoys history and sometimes even think I was born in the wrong century. The Road Home made me really want to be in the 1800's. It is a must read for anyone who loves history and a good story of hope and redemption. Loved it!
LynchburgMama More than 1 year ago
I received this book to review through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, all the opinions below are 100% my own. I am jumping into this series without reading book one so I feel that I lost a little of the characters but within a few chapters, Kathleen Shoop's writing makes you feel like you've known them for ages! The family's story of being torn apart gets a hold on your heart like a vice and makes you hurt and ache for the situation. Relationships between parents and children are often complicated when distress happens to the nuclear dynamic. Katherine has a hard time truly and fully forgiving her mother. When her mother is nearing the end of her life and asks Katherine to care for her younger sister, Katherine tries to make amends but she just can't completely let go. When she discovers the numerous people that her mother has touched and aided in her life, Katherine's hard, unforgiving shell starts to shatter. I feel that she reaches that pivotal point in her life where she transitions into adulthood. If not for the letters that were written by Jeanie and the people who came to grieve her mother, Katherine wouldn't have been able to reach a point of closure. As children, we don't often understand the choices that our parents make. We don't realize that although it's not the best situation, our mothers make the best choices that will ultimately fiercely protect us. I love the lessons and ideas of acceptance that you'll find in this book. As a mother, I can identify with the need to protect!
A_Gluten_Free_Mom More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction is a genre that doesn't get a lot of exposure lately. The Road Home is a book that deserves all the fan fare we can muster. Many times I see the early 1900's glossed over so that you only see the romance of the era. As everyone knows, life is not all glitz and glamour. The Road home shows us the nitty gritty down and dirty parts of life. We follow the separate stories of Katherine and Tommy (14 year old twins who have been separated and placed into boarding homes) and their mother (Jeanie), who managed to keep her youngest daughter (who was a little slow) with her. Katherine and Tommy do what ever it takes to survive, and it made me wonder if, at the age of 14, would I have the internal grit to do what they did. I honestly don't know if anyone raised in today's society would be able to survive in the early 1900's. This is the second in a series, and you do not need to have read the first novel to fully fall in love with this one. (I read them in a backwards order...whoops!). Kathleen Shoop is a masterful historical fiction writer.
EbethTowns More than 1 year ago
I was immediately swept into The Road Home, surprised to find that Kathleen Shoop brought us right back into the Arthur family where we left them in Book 1, The Last Letter. That’s not to suggest this is not a book that stands on its own, because it is – but if you have read Book 1 from the Letter Series you recognize that Katherine has been battling a lot of mixed feelings about her mother, and now, having had the chance to learn more of her while she is ill, this daughter’s anger and judgement have begun to unravel. Katherine’s is beginning to understand the woman her mother was just when she dies, leaving Katherine with Yale, the little sister who almost was not. The letters Katherine found that speak to her about her mothers life, their lives, and the past, begin her road to healing, understanding, and recognizing the depth of a mother’s love. Meanwhile, Tommy, Katherine’s twin brother from which she is separated, has his own demons to put to bed. He’s been living in an almost arrested state, blocking out the events that shaped the man he’s becoming. Now, suddenly, he has to determine whether an event that changed him will dictate his future. His decisions are all about leaving the past and embracing the future – but they require him to put closure on the past. Shoop does an excellent job of creating intricate feelings and emotions to pull the reader into the story. I feel invested in the lives of Jeanne, Katherine and Tommy, and Yale. **I received this book free of charge in return for my honest review. As a side note, I love Kathleen Shoop's Letter Series, honestly.