A photo of Homecoming novel by Kate Morton

Book Review: Homecoming by Kate Morton

Explore the captivating story of Homecoming, a novel that uncovers family secrets and delves into the bonds that tie generations together.

A photo of Homecoming novel by Kate Morton

Homecoming Summary

Adelaide Hills, South Australia, 1959: 

A heart-wrenching incident struck the quaint town of Tambilla on Christmas Eve, where a woman and her three older children were discovered lifeless, and the youngest one remained missing. The incident left the town in shock and sorrow, with unanswered questions and emotions running high.

London, 2018: 

Jessica Turner-Bridges is facing a career setback when she suddenly receives a call about her grandmother, Nora. Jess is compelled to leave her life in London and return to her hometown in Sydney to care for her grandmother.

Nora’s distress triggers Jess’s curiosity, leading her to unravel a family secret that had long been buried.

Homecoming Review

The book, Homecoming, is a captivating story that delves into the theme of family. It spans multiple generations and uncovers a dark secret that provides answers to the characters’ unanswered questions.

Homecoming employs a parallel timeline approach, narrating events from two different periods – 1959 and 2018. The author, Ms. Morton, skillfully builds suspense by dropping hints that leave readers curious.

Readers gets to experience the events in the book through flashbacks, a book, and a journal. The style almost gives that feeling of reading a book within a book.


Ms. Morton portrays the characters in the story as complex individuals with strengths and weaknesses. Jess, the protagonist, has a deep affection for London, despite facing setbacks in her career. She exhibits her love for her grandmother by returning home to care for her. As she spends time with Nora, Jess uncovers some unusual behavior, revealing her inquisitive nature.

The author introduce Nora, the head of the family, as weak in health, but she significantly influences her daughter, granddaughter, and community.

The author depicts Polly, Jess’ mother, as fragile, but in reality, she strives for independence from her mother’s dominance and is a strong-willed person.


Ms. Morton skillfully describes the lush natural surroundings of Halcyon and the Darling House in South Australia, along with the intense heat, in a way that transports her readers to the location. Readers will notice the changes through time, with each houses symbolizing a home filled with both the good and bad memories.

Home, she’d realized, wasn’t a place or a time or a person, though it could be any and all of those things: home was a feeling, a sense of being complete.

Conflicts and Themes

 Homecoming focuses on the conflict between mothers and daughters. It highlights the strained relationships between Nora and Polly and later between Jess and Polly. Additionally, the book delves into Jess’s inner struggle with her mother and her mixed emotions toward her grandmother, who had been keeping life-changing secrets.

Additionally, Homecoming centers around family, exploring the intricate relationships between its members. Moreover, it delves into the extent to which individuals are willing to safeguard and maintain the sanctity of their familial bonds.

Reading enjoyment

I find myself initially distracted by the character’s repetitive trips down memory lane, but it isn’t enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. Homecoming is a true tale within a tale, with characters full of depth and complex relationships that captivate until the very end. Jess and Polly’s enduring bond ultimately fills the story with hope, despite the tragic events in the past.

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