BOOK REVIEW: HEADING HOME

TITLE: Heading Home
AUTHOR: Karl Gibbons
PUBLISHER: Xlibris AU
ISBN: 1543409601
PAGES: 226
GENRE: Fiction
Narrated in first person, the reader is introduced to Elizabeth, Ruth, Jonathon, and Bib. Both Ruth and Elizabeth husbands served in war together. Though the ladies met in unforeseen circumstances, they later came to understand how they were connected. Jonathon and Bib had met in university in England. Jonathon took law while Bib pursued a course in Engineering. The story of the two gents is interesting, as at first, they had nothing in common other than being Australian nationals. The two somehow grew close, later on, even volunteering to work for the airforce when war broke out in Europe.
Life in Europe was adventurous and challenging for the two. They later went back to their home country, albeit on different occasions. When at home, they would both reminisce about life in Europe. How they fought and the problems they face. Civilian life was different from life in the air force. Ruth helped Bib settle down at the farm in Australia, and Johnathon went ahead to take a medicine path.
‘Heading Home’ has a simple story which focuses on the life of war heroes and their struggles. It is not easy for veterans to forget all they had done during war when the time comes for them to leave that life. Through the book, one learns that it is important to have a strong support system. Whether with family or friends. War can damage your mental health. The things people who go to war do and the things they see can be haunting enough to destabilize one mentally.
Karl Gibbons used a simple writing style and was good with the narration. I totally loved the conversations between Ruth and Liz, especially when Ruth got to tell Liz stories about her husband John. Ruth was my favorite character as she was caring and had knowledge about a lot of things.
I love that the author titled the chapters with the names of the characters. By doing so, the reader was able to understand that the named character was the point of focus in that particular chapter even before reading the first paragraph of the chapter. Reading each line was simple as there was an easy flow with the stories. There are a few mini stories which one could not understand unless they finished the entire book.
The reference made of British and Australian cities and towns made the reader feel like they were virtually present in the said cities. The writer vividly described the events in that one could feel like they were physically present in some scenes. Family life, war, friendship, love, and death are some of the topics highlighted in ‘Heading Home’. By giving characters their designated roles, the author enabled the reader to view some of the things that happen in real life. I would recommend this book to readers who love adventurous stories. Some chapters were too emotional, and when the narrator talked about sad scenes I would feel her pain. It is an interesting book that can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

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