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Homecoming, by Isabel Ashdown

homecoming book cover
TRIGGER WARNING: teen pregnancy, forced adoptions, miscarriage, sexual abuse, drug abuse
Katrin Gold seems to have the perfect life. She has created it for herself, having come from nothing. But as she hosts a celebration for her latest achievement, an incident occurs that could change her life forever and reveal secrets…
Homecoming is a psychological thriller set in Dorset.
Katrin and her family are property developers and pride themselves on having created a perfect little community at the Starlings. But a night of celebration with their friends and neighbours ends in tragedy and the past haunts the attendees.
The book begins with the party and then leaves a cliffhanger so we don’t know who is missing or what might have happened to them. We are taken back in time to see the tensions, emotions and relationships between the characters. Lots of potential scenarios are set up and I was kept guessing about how the plot would progress.
There is also a lot of emotion in the book. I felt deeply saddened by the information about the history of the mother and baby home that treated young women so abominably. Frida’s awful family situation and the neglect she suffers is also very upsetting.
I felt that perhaps there was a little too much delay in getting back to the present day and finding out what had happened at the party and who was affected, but I loved the ensuing police investigation when we return to it. There are plenty of clues about secrets and lies that are hidden by various characters which are then gradually revealed.
Homecoming has an intriguing mystery at its heart.

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Welcome to The Starlings… sun, sea and neighbours to die for.
Security, a sparkling sea view and the best kind of neighbours – The Starlings gated community has it all. Here, doors are left open, children run free, and at the heart of it all is the entrepreneurial Gold Family, who first dreamed up this aspirational vision of ‘Dorset’s Safest Community’. To the outside world the popular family appears glitteringly blessed… until an idyllic party takes a dark turn and one of their number is found slumped at the foot of the clocktower. Who knows what really happened? And what answers are harboured within the old building, the former Highcap Mother and Baby Home?’
A mesmerising, character-rich thriller with a long-buried secret vibrating at its core: this is Isabel Ashdown at her heart-stopping best, for readers who enjoyed Big Little Lies, Doctor Foster or Little Fires Everywhere.

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