Home is an overwhelming and important, gripping novel about a struggling family seen through the eyes of four-year old daughter, Jesika. Amanda Berriman has successfully taken strong themes that would typically prompt thought and in using the perspective of a four year old, has provoked further difficulty in reading.
When I began the book, I was sceptical about the use of Jesika as the narrator but as the story pursued and I became familar with the protagonist’s voice, my doubting subsided. I became invested in Jesika and the way she viewed the world. There was something so pure about the innocence that was portrayed, and the subjects that Berriman introduced became ever more hard-hitting when written in Jesika’s uncorrupted perceptive voice.
As the book went on, I became protective over Jesika, almost a silent parental figure. Although I had no say in what her character did, the way in which the book was narrated appeared as though she was confiding in me, the reader. This clever technique coerced me into reading the book across very few sittings and lead me to feel like I’d said goodbye to a part of myself when I closed the book on Jesika for the final time.
Berriman not only gives a unique insight into the mind of a child and how they perceive things, she also takes us on a journey that puts a family to the test and leaves you aching to come to their aid. A sophisticated and uncompromising story that will stay with you for weeks to come.
By Lucy Victoria Sophie Morris