Almost Home
Pam Jenoff
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Buy *Almost Home* by Pam Jenoff online

Almost Home
Pam Jenoff
Washington Square Press
400 pages
February 2010
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Jordan Weiss hasn’t been back to the UK in ten years, not since the accident that took her boyfriend’s life at Cambridge. Now a friend who is terminally ill with ALS has asked her to return, and Jordan knows she must go back to England and face the demons from her past. She applies and is immediately granted a transfer from her State Department post in Washington, DC, to London. Upon arriving, she is embroiled in two different cases and shocked to discover that she has not left the past behind after all.

Almost Home definitely has a “thriller” feel but is literary enough to satisfy different types of readers. Jenoff’s writing is clear and consistent. She uses the present tense, which can be awkward at times, but once the reader gets used to it, it’s a barely noticeable feature of the narrative.

Jordan is an intriguing character who really carries Almost Home on her shoulders – if she wasn’t so appealing, the novel wouldn’t be nearly as good. Luckily, though, she is very easy to like, smart and savvy. While it seems strange that she was so broken up over her boyfriend’s death a decade ago, as the novel progresses it becomes understandable. After Jared died, Jordan immediately left Cambridge, returning to the United States and shutting that part of her off. When she returns, it’s as if she were dealing with his death for the first time - it is fresh in her memory.

The mystery in Almost Home takes thrilling twists and turns galore. The reader never knows who to trust as one person after another falls under suspicion. I figured out who was the “bad guy” about 50 pages before Jordan did, it was still an exciting read that I really enjoyed. Some of the developments are a little difficult to believe, so this novel works best if you can suspend your sense of disbelief.

Almost Home is definitely recommended if you’re in the mood for some light, fun fare. Be warned though: you’re really going to want to read this one cover to cover, so prepare to stay up late into the night with this appealing novel. I can’t wait for the release of its sequel, Hidden Things.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Swapna Krishna, 2010

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