Monday, April 30, 2012

The Homecoming by Cynthia Voight - Review/Discussion

Homecoming by Cynthia VoigtPublisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 1, 2002 (First published March 12, 1977)
Source: Bought at Borders
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book for my English book report. I was looking for a good book to do a report on and I read the back of the book (the summary, I mean) and I felt so sorry for the children. It almost made me cry, and I immediately chose this book. At some points I did start crying (lightly). This is a wonderful book, and it did have a happy ending. I'm going to start reading the 2nd book soon, I can't wait. Here is my essay, if you want to see it:


In The Homecoming, a book written by Cynthia Voigt, four siblings are abandoned by their mother as a result of the constant stress she was being put under as a single parent. Dicey, the oldest and authoritative sibling of the Tillerman children, wants the family to always stay together, no matter what. Because of this, Dicey does not call the police, since she fears that they will be separated into different foster homes. The only place they can go to is their Aunt Cilla’s house. Thinking that their mother will be there, the children begin their long and tiring journey, struggling to survive as they walk from Massachusetts all the way to Connecticut. They must sleep outside, work for money, and use their knowledge of survival skills, but they also find help along the way.

Stewart, a college student that the Tillermans meet in New Haven, helps them by driving them to Bridgeport. He drops them off in front of Aunt Cilla’s house. They thank him, then anxiously walk up the front concrete steps to knock on the door. There is no response, so the children sit down on the steps, waiting for her to return. They search the streets, which are filled with people coming home from an exhausting day at work. All the children, except for Dicey, believe that their mother has come to Aunt Cilla’s house, and they are eager to see her again. Dicey knows for a fact that she is not here. “I think Momma got so worried about so many things, about money and us, about what she could do to take care of us, about not being able to do anything to make things better…that she just quit,” she says (139).

Aunt Cilla had always sent the children Christmas cards every year, but they don’t even know what she looks like. They don’t know for a fact that she will want to take them in and care for them. In Dicey’s mind, this is their last chance. They have nowhere else to go, and if their aunt kicks them out, they will have to live on the streets until they grow up. This is a very pivotal scene in the book, because it decides the Tillermans’ future. The children try to reassure each other that everything will be fine. The younger ones are confused and need to feel safe. Although Dicey is a child herself, she is the only one who can protect them.

The children find out that Aunt Cilla passed away previously that year, and her daughter was living by herself in the house. Thinking that it was not the right home for them, the Tillermans find out where their grandmother lives and go to see her. She is reluctant at first to bring them in, but later she decides that she really does want them to live with her.

I would definitely recommend this book to a friend, because it shows many tough emotions, such as devotion, love, and strong willpower. It teaches a very valuable lesson: as long as you are determined, you can face any troubles that you encounter.

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