Friday, October 22, 2010

The Journey Home by Michael Baron

The Journey Home. Michael Baron. The Story Plant. 2010. ISBN: 9780981956862.

The Journey Home relates the strangeness and wonder of connection. It all begins with Joseph waking up in a strange home, surrounded by a family who accept his fragile condition and soothe him with warm meals and a place to stay overnight. For Joseph is unable to remember where he came from or where he was going before he was found passed out on the sidewalk outside of the family who found him. When he leaves that place of shelter, he meets Will, a young man who knows he has a goal to reach but seems quite unsure of precisely what it is or how to tackle the journey there. He begins to find purpose in attempting Joseph in his quest for home and identity. The closest they come is through the sense Joseph has of a woman whom he loves and whose presence enlivens the very essence of his life’s meaning.

Antoinette is living in an assisted living facility which she finds strange, and so she retreats into her room, living in the memories of the beautiful love she shared with her late husband, Don. Her son, Warren, going through a divorce and presently unemployed, is lost and frustrated by his mother’s slipping more deeply into another world. He slowly begins to recreate a new relationship with her by cooking her favorite meals and watching her joy as she comes alive with each meal he so tenderly prepares. The descriptions of these meals will make the reader want to run out to buy ingredients to try the same culinary delights, but we also sense that it is the love that goes into the preparation turns them into exquisitely appreciated delights. His conversation with Jan, a nurse at the facility where Antoinette lives, puts some delicate humor and meaning into the present moment and offers the possibility of hope for the future to both of them.

What fuels our passions and what is the heart of true relationships? The Journey Home is a story about three very different characters. In truly listening to each other and learning what feeds the heart, mind, and soul, all these characters learn true love and relish the journey to the center and peripheries of that precious world that is ever new and ever alive in a unique, memorable cycle! Lovely novel!!!

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