This is, by far, the best book in the Home series, and that's saying a lot. This book gets off to a slow start, but it builds from this foundation into something that is well worth the investment in time. The imagination that went into this story, something that was largely missing in “Rocks Don't Cry”, is spectacular, even outshining “Just Live, Juliette!” Stephanie Andrassy has taken “Home” to greater heights.
This is Joanie's story, and in this book her character is developed beautifully. No other character in the series has Joanie's depth and breadth. But this is about more than just a character. It is about human experience, human emotion, and human nature. The author explores human nature from the unhuman viewpoint of the afterlife, where Earthly troubles are little more than distant events to examine. The author illustrates a paradox of human nature: When we perceive an injury from someone we are close to, we sometimes build that person into some sort of monster in our mind, and forgiveness is all but impossible. Yet we are able to forgive true monsters who have committed horrible acts against others, simply because we were not close to them or their victims. It's sad when someone you love builds you into a monster, and forever sees you that way. She also explores self-worth and self-image, and the way we let other people's opinions of us shape our view of ourselves.
This story made me smile, laugh, and cry, many times over. It is, simply put, beautiful.
I have only one criticism of this book: Typos - Just like “Rocks Don't Cry”, this book is riddled with more than three dozen typos. A good proofreading and error correction is in order. In spite of these typos, I highly recommend this book. It is a wonderful, heart-warming story, and well worth reading. This is, in my opinion, even better than “Just Live, Juliette!”
(reviewed 14 days after purchase)