In her first work of contemporary women’s fiction, bestselling author Kay Bratt draws on her own life experiences to create a raw, yet inescapably warm, novel about friendship and a wary heart’s unexpected capacity to love.
A hungry, stray dog is the last thing Cara Butter needs. Stranded in Georgia with only her backpack and a few dwindling dollars, she already has too much baggage. Like her twin sister, Hana, who has broken Cara’s heart one too many times. After a lifetime of family troubles, and bouncing from one foster home to another, Cara decides to leave it all behind and strike out alone—on foot.
Cara sets off to Florida to see the home of her literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, accompanied only by Hemi, the stray dog who proves to be the perfect travel companion. But the harrowing trip takes unexpected turns as strangers become friends who make her question everything, and Cara finds that as the journey unfolds, so does her life—in ways she could never imagine.
I put off writing my review of Wish Me Home by Kay Bratt for a few days because I’m feeling a bit conflicted over how exactly to present it. I loved the writing but sometimes the storyline was just so convenient that it turned me off. Cara (our lead) kept finding herself in these situations with strangers and it was just always oh-so-lucky that they were good people who took her in and let this complete stranger (who just happened to also be a broke, homeless, vagabond with a stray dog) take over their guest room. Uh-huh…what?! I’m sorry but I just don’t find that believable at all.
I mean, if I was walking down the sidewalk with two small children and some aimless wanderer wasn’t paying attention and almost ran us over with her bike and tow trailer the last thing on my mind after she swerves and wrecks is, “Oh! That poor thing! Let me take her home, put her up in my guest bedroom, and ask my brother to fix her bike for free.” No. I would think, “Wow, she looks hurt. I’ll call her an ambulance and hopefully she’s ok. She should have been paying attention! Thank God my kids weren’t seriously hurt.” I’m giving the mom and two kids a pass on paying attention because in the story one of the kids has autism and she’s distracted because of his behavior.
Sure, there is one scene where Cara meets some ruffians but of course, nothing major happens and everything is coming up roses again in less than 2 pages so, you know, eye roll.
I feel like I have to give the book a pass for being too convenient and rosy and full of hope because of the author’s background. Her bio says,
Kay Bratt is the author of eleven full-length novels and two children’s books. Her writing became her solace and support while she navigated a tumultuous childhood, followed by a decade of abuse as an adult. After working her way through the hard years, Kay came out a survivor and a pursuer of peace—and finally found the courage to share her stories
and based on that it seems pretty clear that her mission with her stories is to give hope to people that are struggling with their own personal circumstances. In that case, Wish Me Home accomplishes her goal. It’s sweet, uplifting, and encourages people to believe in the goodness of strangers, but I prefer more drama and tension in the books I read.
If you want books that are about overcoming obstacles and finding hop in a fresh start, you’ll probably love it. If you’re looking for something with a bit of conflict and obstacles to overcome, I’d skip this one. If you’ve already read it then let me say yeah, I read the whole thing and I know why Cara was “on the run.” It’s just that it seemed kind of lame to me too. There’s no way that I believe that she would go on the run for that reason without actual proof that it had actually happened. I mean…PLEASE.
I thought the ending was well done but I could never commit to the book. There were moments that were great and moments that left me feeling disconnected from the whole thing. It was just, meh. See more about Wish Me Home on Amazon.
I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my thoughts and feelings.