Earlier in the summer, my mammy and I spent a long weekend enjoying the beautiful sun in Albufeira. While I was reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Mammy was reading No Place Like Home by Mary Higgins Clark. We both finished our respective books on the journey back to Dublin and then swapped with each. Standard practice when you’re a book worm.
No Place Like Home is a psychological thriller by “America’s Queen of Suspense” who has published over twenty similar works. The novel is long with over five hundred pages. However, the chapters are short, each leading to a new scene with a different character. This style of writing keeps the mind engaged and is a way of writing that I admire and enjoy.
The story line itself is exciting. We begin the novel knowing that the protagonist, Celia Nolan, has killed her mother and has attempted to murder her stepfather. The five hundred pages that follow take the reader on a journey through Celia’s life, introduce the reader to many new characters and allow the reader to manipulate snippets of information to deduce the truth behind Celia’s mother’s death, along with a few other murders that happen along the way. The character list is lengthy and, in my opinion, could have been shorter whilst still having the same impact.
Oppression is a key theme that is evident throughout the novel. When Celia’s late mother remarried, she became oppressed at the hands of her new husband, ultimately leading to her death. Celia, in turn, came to be in a similar situation many years later. Romantic and familial relationships are a theme throughout the novel too.
As with many novels of this genre, the story line seems somewhat sensational. Given the location, the time frame and the people, it seems unimaginable that all of the activity could in fact have taken place. The concluding paragraph is somewhat like a fairy tale, romanticizing the gruesome story that we have just read. Given that the author has been described as “the world’s favorite thriller writer” I imagine she is capable of a much more pungent finish.
This was the 17th book that I read in 2019 – the year in which I have committed to reading 25 books. To keep up with my reading list and to read more of my reviews, click here.