Author: Jean Thompson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7588-0

Click Here To Purchase The Year We Left Home: A Novel
 
An extremely intriguing tale of a family in the small town of Granada, Iowa during thirty years of their lives.  It's a fine story with much humor, striking details and pity for some of the characters.
 
The tale starts in 1973 at the wedding of the oldest daughter in the Erickson clan.  As they all are celebrating this event the troubles that will plague the family for three decades is beginning.  The bride, Anita wants to marry a local guy and raise a family in the town she grew up in.  The next child in line, Ryan, watches his sister marry and
is already planning his escape from the town he has grown to despise.  At the wedding, Ryan runs into his cousin, Chip, who is a Vietnam veteran.  A very mixed up individual who is about to show Ryan the attraction and the dangers of freedom.  There is another son, Blake, still in school and not altogether interested in anything at the moment.  Last, but definitely not least, the youngest daughter, Torrie, also dreaming of putting the hometown in her rear view mirror as she speeds out of town.  Unfortunately, the path she chooses will lead to tragedy that will alter many plans.  I didn't mention Mom and Dad.  These are regular folks that take work and take care of their family as best they can. 

 
This story moves from 1973 to 2003, from the farms of Iowa to Chicago and a short time in Italy.  It takes us through the horror of the Vietnam War, the crisis facing the farms and the economic highs and lows when there were many foreclosures on homes in the midwest when the large farms had to shut down.  This wonderful story follows the Erickson family through thick and thin, wealth and poverty, victories and failures and they work their way through life with all it up and downs and try to find a place for themselves in a changing world.
 
This novel was a real page turner and there is so much the reader will recognize in their own lives and will commiserate with this family.  The "Pursuit of Happiness" takes on a whole new meaning.
The author gives us a three decade long epic of an ordinary American family who lived their lives quietly and hopefully and went through all the trials and tribulations that face us all on a daily basis.
I was very impressed with this book and recommend it to all readers.
 
Click Here To Purchase The Year We Left Home: A Novel