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The Year We Left Home

Thompson, Jean (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Year We Left Home


Item Details

Chronicles the happiness pursuits of the Eriksons from their 1970s coming-of-age to the near-present day, in a story told from revolving viewpoints. It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother Ryan watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons' youngest daughter, is another rebel intent on escape, but the choices she makes will bring about a tragedy that leaves the entire family changed forever.
Authors: Thompson, Jean, 1950-
Title: The year we left home
Publisher: New York :, Simon & Schuster,, 2011.
Characteristics: 325 p. ;,24 cm.
Summary: Chronicles the happiness pursuits of the Eriksons from their 1970s coming-of-age to the near-present day, in a story told from revolving viewpoints. It begins in 1973 when the Erickson family of Grenada, Iowa, gathers for the wedding of their eldest daughter, Anita. Even as they celebrate, the fault lines in the family emerge. The bride wants nothing more than to raise a family in her hometown, while her brother Ryan watches restlessly from the sidelines, planning his escape. He is joined by their cousin Chip, an unpredictable, war-damaged loner who will show Ryan both the appeal and the perils of freedom. Torrie, the Ericksons' youngest daughter, is another rebel intent on escape, but the choices she makes will bring about a tragedy that leaves the entire family changed forever.
ISBN: 9781439175880
1439175888
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Report This Jul 14, 2013
  • sharonb122 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A well-written novel with a "Wizard of Oz" theme where three children (plus Chip) leave home, but eventually all return in one way or another. There is much symbolism and themes. family, of course, war, patriotism.

Report This Jan 28, 2013
  • megaculpa rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Like Alice Munro, Jean Thompson is best known for her well-crafted short stories. This episodic novel spans thirty years and a dozen members of an extended Iowa family in a series of linked stories. Thompson gradually and artfully pulls the threads together into a satisfying whole. This is an author who cares about her characters and her readers.

Report This Jun 10, 2012
  • annmelone rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A great midwestern family story with less angst than Jonathan Franzen and more love and soul. Started a bit slow but great ending.

Report This Jul 25, 2011
  • maven rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I really liked the writing style, but the story was boring and not much seemed to happen. I also had a hard time caring about any of the characters enough to see what happened to them, so I just quit.

Report This Jul 12, 2011
  • kabruzino rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Loved the book, couldn't put it down. Liked how each chapter was written focusing on a different character each time. Different spin on growing up in the midwest.

Report This Jun 21, 2011
  • debwalker rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

"Family Saga Jean Thompson's The Year We Left Home (Simon & Schuster) plumbs the American heart with rigor and intensity, seamlessly connecting one family's fortunes to those of the larger national community—from the aftermath of Vietnam through the farm crisis of the 1980s, into the tech boom and bust. Built from individual narratives that at first seem disconnected, the novel follows the four Erickson siblings of Iowa through marriages and deaths as well as smaller moments of alienation, loss, and maturity. Eventually, like the Ericksons, we come to realize that "no moment of life was like any other and as soon as you became aware of them, they were as good as gone." — Liza Nelson

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