Death is what you make it. . . .
Eleanor never wanted to leave the daughter she loved so much. The overpowering urge to wander -- to search, without knowing what she sought -- drove her away. She left little Cassidy in her family's loving care. But Cassidy and the others died in an accident before Eleanor could find her way home.
Now, they are all reunited, in an afterlife where nothing is truly lost: places once loved may be revisited, memories relived and even shared. Surely this is a place where they can understand and heal. And yet, the restlessness that shaped Eleanor's life still haunts her in death. Somehow, she must solve the mystery of her life -- or none of them will be at peace.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Karen Wyle explores death and the ramifications of reincarnation in her novel, Wander Home. When Eleanor reunites with her family in the afterlife she begins having dreams and memories of another woman - Jordana. A woman she never met in life.
Eleanor begins the novel as a character that is misunderstood and will possibly be disliked by many readers. After all, various forms of judgement are often bestowed upon women who abandon their children. Wyle writes Eleanor as a wanderer, constantly harboring the need to move on, to search for something she doesn't understand.
As the plot unfolds, readers will come to understand Eleanor, and Jordana, in such a way where judgement falls to the wayside. Eleanor emerges as a woman full of love, good intentions, and a generous soul. Wyle takes a risk by portraying a woman who wanted nothing more than a child who ends up leaving her behind in life. But after death, Eleanor is determined to rekindle her relationship with her daughter, Cassidy.
Readers will align with Cassidy straight away. They will feel her abandonment and the joy at regaining her mother. Readers will bond more quickly with Cassidy than with Eleanor but in the end, readers will understand and come to love them both.
The plot is well paced and opens the imagination of the readers. The afterlife that Wyle creates is brimming with memories, places to visit, and amazing people to meet. It's written in such a way that it is truly life after death. The characters can be confusing at first, but they quickly claim their independence. Wander Home is a magical story that delves to the depths of the human psyche and is definitely recommended.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups