Review: The Only Way Home by Jeanette Minniti

Desperate times. Danger on the rails. A journey to save a family — The Only Way Home by #JeanetteMinniti

From the opening of the novel in  a Georgia court room, to the very end, The Only Way Home keeps the reader just a little breathless and off balance. Robert is a 16 year old boy in the time of the Great Depression. When his father dies and the authorities want to take his younger siblings, he feels it is his place to go out into the world and find a way to make some money to support his family and keep them together. He hops the freight trains with other young men desperate in the same way,  moving from town to town looking for whatever work he can find. His journey takes him through the midwest and south and pits him against railroad detectives, human failing, and the sad reality that there just isn’t enough to go around.

This book took me back to school and required reading lists and John Steinbeck’s ability to make this time in American history literally come alive in the pages of a book or Christopher Paul Curtis’ way of making depression era characters pop off the page. I knew about the federal programs that were put into place during this time, some of which survive to this day and are taken for granted, but were such needed life lines and godsends to countless Americans then. It was a real eye opener to live it from the viewpoint of the characters. 

The themes of self determination in the face of conflict,  family, and hardship are throughout this story in so many different places and they all came together beautifully in Robert, his family,  and their contemporaries throughout the book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received an advance review copy through IRead Book Tours for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Join us for this tour from July 6 to July 19, 2021!

Book Details:

Book Title:  The Only Way Home by Jeanette Minniti
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +) , 242 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age
Publisher:  Penning Press
Release date:   4/1/2021
Content Rating: PG + M. My book is rated PG+M for a brief attempted rape scene. The main character, male, is laying down in a field on a ranch, with his eyes closed. A male worker comes up to him and turns him over but before anything more can happen someone saves him. One other scene where Tucker is accosted by someone with a knife briefly…but is then saved by Robert. The man with the knife yells out “ bastards” to them.
Book Description:

Desperate times. Danger on the rails. A journey to save a family.

It is 1933 inside a sweltering courtroom in Macon, Georgia. Fifteen-year-old Robert sits on a bench awaiting sentencing after being picked up for vagrancy and spending a night in jail. He left his home in Illinois with a neighborhood friend to ride the rails and find work to help their families. The friend turned back, too afraid to face the perils ahead. But going back empty-handed isn’t an option for Robert.

THE ONLY WAY HOME is the story of one boy’s determination to survive loss and hardship to help his family — and how fate and a violin touch the course of his life.

Fans of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Sold On a Monday by Kristina Morris will love this story set during the Great Depression of a fatherless boy fighting to keep his family together.​

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Meet the Author:

As a member of the American Association of University Women, she coordinates the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions discussion group and participates in several AAUW interest groups. 

Jeanette and her husband enjoy all that Colorado renders in outdoor activities including hiking and biking.
connect with the author:  website  ~  facebook   ~  goodreads​​

Tour Schedule:

July 6 – Cover Lover Book Review – book review / giveaway
July 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 8 –Locks, Hooks and Books – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 9 – Heck Of A Bunch – book review / guest post / giveaway
July 12 – Welcome To MLM Opinions Reviews – book review
July 13 – StoreyBook Reviews – book review / giveaway
July 14 – @twilight_reader – book review / guest post
July 15 – Splashes of Joy – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 16 – Books for Books – book review
July 16 – I Read What You Write – book review / author interview / giveaway
July 19 – Bigreadersite – book review / giveaway

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