Virtual Book Tour: Go Away Home by Carol Bodensteiner: A Book Review

Please join Carol Bodensteiner as she tours virtually for Go Away Home from July 8-25.

Go Away Home
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Rising Sun Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to me as part of the Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tour in exchange for an honest review.

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Liddie Treadway grew up on a family farm where options for her future were marriage or teaching. Encouraged by suffragette rhetoric and her maiden aunt, Liddie is determined to avoid both and pursue a career. Her goal is within her grasp when her older sister’s abrupt departure threatens to keep her on the farm forever.

Once she is able to experience the world she’s dreamed of, Liddie is enthralled with her independence, a new-found passion for photography, and the man who teaches her. Yet, the family, friends, and life of her youth tug at her heart, and she must face the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as she once imagined.

GO AWAY HOME is a coming-of-age novel that explores the enduring themes of family, friendship, and love, as well as death and grief. This novel will resonate with anyone who’s confronted the conflict between dreams and reality and come to recognize that getting what you want can be a two-edged sword.

My Review: Go Away Home is a coming of age novel set in Iowa before World War I. It tells the story of a young farm girl, Liddie, who dreams of leaving her farm in pursuit of grander dreams. However, when her sister is involved in a scandal that forces her to run away and with the death of her father, it leaves Liddie with an opportunity to pursue her dream to become a seamstress by apprenticing for a well-respected dressmaker. She meets a photographer and discovers an interest in photography. Liddie must choose what choices she should make regarding her future.

The backdrop of the novel mostly takes place on her country farm. Life on the farm is shown as idyllic and that Liddie is surrounded by her family’s love. With the death of her father, it shows that while there is hardships, her family still works together to help make the farm successful. When she goes to town to be an apprentice, she has to work alone to be successful. She has to make right decisions on her own.

Liddie is an idealistic girl, who dreams of adventures and ambition. She dreams of leaving home and becoming successful. She is a faithful friend and comforts them when they are in need. She is a hard worker. She is also bold, outspoken, and stubborn. She is also curious, and asks many questions about topics she’s interested in. However, deep down Liddie is very confused and uncertain. She doesn’t know what choices she should take or what she should do. She asks others - her friends, her boss, and her family about what would be the right choice for her. She constantly questions herself if the choice she makes is a good one. Liddie searches throughout the novel to find what she wants and what her path will take.

Overall, the book is about family, friendship, love, loss, sacrifice, choices, and hope. It is also about a person’s quest for home. The message of the book is that if you have a dream find a way to make it happen. Another message of the book is that doing nothing will get you nowhere. If you want to accomplish your dream, you have to take positive action. The pace of the novel is easygoing, reminiscent of a leisurely Sunday morning. However, it is pleasing and you care what happens to Liddie. I recommend this book to anyone interested in early 20th century America, life in the rural Midwest, and those who face tough choices in their own lives.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Praise for Go Away Home

Go Away Home is … a tale of choices, dreams realized and rejected, and how values evolve … gently compelling and highly believable.” – D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“Excellent characters and an extremely realistic plot … Go Away Home is the perfect story of coming home.” – Samantha Rivera, Readers’ Favorite reviewer

“… a heart-warming and heart-wrenching tale … a story that promises to fulfill what it is to be alive when one chooses the life one wants to live, despite the consequences” – Paulette Mahurin, author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

Go Away Home is a coming of age novel that is well-written, compelling, and endearing … a strong sense of place, excellent character development, and an engaging plot line.” – Kara Logsden, Iowa City Public Library

“Every life is a story, no matter how mundane it may appear on the surface, but it takes a writer like Carol Bodensteiner to draw a reader in and keep them turning the pages. Bodensteiner … writes characters with depth … she’s captured the era … with meticulous historical detail.“ – J. P. Lane, author of The Tangled Web

About the Author

Carol Bodensteiner grew up in the heartland of the United States, and she continues to draw writing inspiration from the people, places, culture, and history of the area. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society. She is the author of Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl, a memoir. Her essays have been published in several anthologies. Go Away Home is her first novel.

For more information please visit Carol Bodensteiner’s Website/Blog. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and LinkedIn. Sign up for Carol’s Newsletter.


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