Today I have a review of this gorgeous book, Our Homesick Songs, a work of literary fiction by Emma Hooper and publishing on August 14. If you enjoy lyrical writing, Our Homesick Songs is impressive!
In Our Homesick Songs, Emma Hooper deftly and lyrically tells the story of the Conner family living in an idyllic ghost town of a fishing village, Big Running. The inhabitants have mostly moved on due to the fish leaving first under a cloud of mystery.
The parents, Aidan and Martha, take turns working elsewhere to support their two children, Cora and Finn. Eventually, the family may have to leave Big Running for a more stable way of life.
The son, Finn, stridently tries to solve the mystery of why the fish left. Working with his quirky music teacher, he thinks he has solved the mystery and can lure the fish back, allowing his family to stay in Big Running. The daughter, Cora, is busy using her imagination to lavishly decorate the abandoned homes in town. She yearns for a life on a bigger scale with more opportunities available to her.
In Our Homesick Songs, the writing is so beautiful it takes on a musical quality to pair with the underlying threads of music and wonder. This is the story of the Conners, across two generations, what draws them to that remarkable place and anchors them there. The effects of the loss of a way of life on this family are told in a memorable, mystical way, and it is relatable to anyone who has had nostalgia for what is left behind, the memories that slip right through our fingers, but also in the hope that we can recreate those memories if we hang on to what we love most.
Thank you to Simon Schuster for the invitation to read and review this book. All opinions are my own.
From Emma Hooper, critically acclaimed author of Etta and Otto and Russell and James, a People magazine “Pick of the Week,” comes a lyrical, charming, and mystical story of a family on the edge of extinction, and the different way each of them fights to keep hope, memory, and love alive.
The Connor family is one of the few that is still left in their idyllic fishing village, Big Running; after the fish mysteriously disappeared, most families had no choice but to relocate and find work elsewhere. Aidan and Martha Connor now spend alternate months of the year working at an energy site up north to support their children, Cora and Finn. But soon the family fears they’ll have to leave Big Running for good. And as the months go on, plagued by romantic temptations new and old, the emotional distance between the once blissful Aidan and Martha only widens.
Between his accordion lessons and reading up on Big Running’s local flora and fauna, eleven-year-old Finn Connor develops an obsession with solving the mystery of the missing fish. Aided by his reclusive music instructor Mrs. Callaghan, Finn thinks he may have discovered a way to find the fish, and in turn, save the only home he’s ever known. While Finn schemes, his sister Cora spends her days decorating the abandoned houses in Big Running with global flair—the baker’s home becomes Italy; the mailman’s, Britain. But it’s clear she’s desperate for a bigger life beyond the shores of her small town. As the streets of Big Running continue to empty Cora takes matters—and her family’s shared destinies—into her own hands.
In Our Homesick Songs, Emma Hooper paints a gorgeous portrait of the Connor family, brilliantly weaving together four different stories and two generations of Connors, full of wonder and hope. Told in Hooper’s signature ethereal style, each page of this incandescent novel glows with mythical, musical wonder.
Have you read Our Homesick Songs, or do you plan to? Do you enjoy lyrical writing? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR