3 out of 4 stars
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The setting is Ariana in the summer of 2019. Having fled their home to escape radiation exposure, the Matters—Mary, Lou, and their sons, Jason, Ricky, and Marty—have only just returned home to pick up the pieces of their lives. However, what they do not know is the enormity of the impact that unfolding events will have on them as a family and individually. As they try to settle back into their normal lives and reunite with old friends, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic seeks to ensure that things will never remain the same again. This is a story of perseverance, grit, and the human spirit's strength to survive against countless odds.
Home Again 2020 is a tale about me, you, and countless other people the world over who have lived through the events of 2020. This novel was divided into two parts. In the first part, Roberta M Roy portrayed the events that happened in the past year through the lives of the Matters. It narrated the drastic changes that took place in their lives after they had to flee their homes to avoid radiation. Upon returning home and seeking to establish some semblance of normalcy, the Covid-19 pandemic shattered whatever hope they had of living a normal life. The second part of the book narrated the personal and communal adjustments that had to be made to survive and thrive in "the new normal."
Home Again 2020 was an emotional and inspiring read. The writer found a way to draw me into the story such that I felt I was a part of it. This may be because I had firsthand experience of the Covid-19 pandemic and all the upheavals of 2020. I especially loved how the author carefully developed every character in the story. I could understand them on a personal level and could therefore appreciate their individual battles as they tried to adapt. Lou was one of my best characters. It was very touching the way he was able to embrace a totally new paradigm as he sought a career change. Despite the odds stacked against him, he was able to reinvent himself and re-integrate fully into society.
My only letdown in this book was its lack of professional editing. I encountered countless grammatical and typographical errors while reading. It made me not enjoy the book as much as I should have.
Consequently, I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Its lack of professional editing has denied it a perfect rating. Still, this story will hit really close to home for most people in today's "global pandemic" world. It touches on something we can all relate to, so I didn't feel deducting another star was fair or justified. I recommend it to anyone who experienced and survived the traumas of 2020. Since this book is a historical fiction novel, it would also help for the ideal reader to be a lover of fiction as well.
Home Again 2020
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