Daily Archives: September 11, 2009

Review and Giveaway: The Way Home by George P. Pelecanos

The Way HomeMy rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

One of the things I like best about being in a book club is being encouraged to read books I never would have picked up on my own.  Blogging about books has exposed me to books I never would have heard of or picked up on my own.  I’m paying more attention to the mix of books that I read, and now want to read an even greater variety of books.

When Hachette Books offered the chance to host a giveaway of The Way Home by George Pelacanos, I had to make a quick decision.  I knew I’d seen good reviews of it, but I wasn’t 100% sure I would like it.  Still, I decided it would be good for me to stretch my horizons, and I signed up.

I’m really glad that I did.

The Way Home was in the press recently as one of the books that President Obama took to read on vacation.  I hope he had a chance to read it, and that he enjoyed it as much as I did.

I was expecting a gritty mystery.  It was a mystery.  It was real, and not always in a pleasant way.  But more than that, it was a character study of a young man and his father.  It was a look at the juvenile criminal justice system, and how it affects the young men who end up there.

From George Pelacanos’ web site:

Hidden beneath the floorboards in a house he’s remodeling, Christopher Flynn discovers something very tempting-and troubling. Summoning every bit of maturity and every lesson he’s learned the hard way, Chris leaves what he found where he found it and tells his job partner to forget it, too. Knowing trouble when he sees it-and walking the other way-is a habit Chris is still learning.

Chris’s father, Thomas Flynn, runs the family business where Chris and his friends have found work. Thomas is just getting comfortable with the idea that his son is grown, working, and on the right path at last. Then one day Chris doesn’t show up for work-and his father knows deep in his bones that danger has found him. Although he wishes it weren’t so, he also knows that no parent can protect a child from all the world’s evils. Sometimes you have to let them find their own way home.

I was very much pulled into the story.  The men in the book (and it was a book about men, the women were all peripheral to the story) all were completely foreign to me, and yet I felt for Thomas as I wanted a better life for his son Chris.  I understood Chris’s youthful stupidity, and his efforts to turn his life around afterward.  I saw the even harder path that Ben walked, trying the same turn around with no family, and only Chris to support him.  I celebrated Ali’s success, and attempts to help others. I mourned the young men that weren’t able to make the transition.

I appreciated the suspense factor in the book– it gave the book something to structure itself around.

The biggest question, the one that kept me reading wasn’t “What will happen to Chris?”, but “What will Chris make happen to himself?”.  I wasn’t disappointed in the path I walked in The Way Home.

Here is the video trailer for the book.

Giveaway information

Thank you to Hachette Books for providing me a review copy of The Way Home. Thanks to them, I’m hosting a giveaway of 5 copies!


  1. Leave a comment to enter. Be sure your e-mail address it asks for is valid, so I can notify you if you win. If you have additional entries, you can leave them in the same comment.
  2. For another entry, let me know if you subscribe to my blog via RSS or e-mail, or if you follow me on Twitter. Thank you to my current subscribers, Welcome if you are new to my blog.
  3. One more entry if you let other people know about this giveaway! On your blog, on Twitter, another social site. Just let me know.
  4. As a bonus (for an additional entry) tell me about a book that surprised you by not being what you expected.

Having an address (not a PO Box) in the US or Canada is required. I’ll pick the winners in the evening of October 2.


Posted by on September 11, 2009 in books, giveaway, reviews


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