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

11 Sep

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


Tags: , , ,

48 responses to “Review and Giveaway: The Way Home by George P. Pelecanos

  1. Wanda

    September 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.

  2. Wanda

    September 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    I subscribe via Google Reader.

  3. rhapsodyinbooks

    September 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Please enter me!

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  4. rhapsodyinbooks

    September 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I subscribe via Google Reader.

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  5. rhapsodyinbooks

    September 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I follow you on twitter.

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  6. rhapsodyinbooks

    September 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Bonus: I thought Twenty Boy Summer would be mindless YA chick lit, but it was really excellent.

    nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

  7. Literary Feline

    September 11, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I was really impressed with The Night Gardner which I read a couple of years ago by the same author. I’d love a chance to read this one, so please enter me.

    The last book I read that surprised me was Sweeping Up Glass by Carolyn Wall.

    I subscribe to your e-mail via Google Reader.

    literaryfeline AT gmail DOT com

  8. Pam R.

    September 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I have been wanting to read this. Isn’t it on Obama’s reading list?

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  9. Pam R.

    September 11, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    I subscribe via e-mail and google reader.

  10. Pam R.

    September 11, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    I was very pleasantly surprised by The Book of Negroes. It was a book club selection and although it sounded like it may be a good read, it sat on my shelf for months before I got up the courage to crack it open. It looked so large and daunting and I was so worried it would be a difficult, depressing read. So not the case! It was so very well written that it ended up being a really quick, though not light, read. I loved it!

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  11. Just Mom

    September 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Please enter me for the contest.

  12. Just Mom

    September 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    And I subscribe via Google Reader!

  13. madeleine

    September 12, 2009 at 4:00 am

    I’d like to win this book

    I follow you by e-mail


  14. Lisa

    September 12, 2009 at 6:01 am

    This sounds like a great book & I’d love to read it. I need to check out The Night Gardener too. Thanks for hosting.

  15. Lisa

    September 12, 2009 at 6:04 am

    I follow you on Twitter…(mistyfuji)

  16. Lisa

    September 12, 2009 at 6:06 am

    I read Buffalo Lockjaw & I thought it wouldn’t be a good read. It was an excellent book and I didn’t want it to end, plus it was well written.

  17. Crystal F

    September 12, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Please enter me.

    I follow through email.

    I also follow you on twitter.


  18. Sue

    September 12, 2009 at 8:07 am

    This sounds good, Laura. I appreciated your thorough review. Isn’t it funny there are now videos to promote books?


  19. Britt, Book Habitue

    September 12, 2009 at 8:57 am

    This looks really good!!
    schriftstellarin at hotmail dot com

    Follow your blog on Google Reader and follow you on Twitter.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be!

  20. Carla Pullum

    September 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Wow the trailer got me wanting more! Please count me in! They should make this a movie!

  21. Ruth

    September 12, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    There’s a video trailer for the book? That’s so bizarre. Compelling, though, I must say.

    Please enter me in your contest.

    I subscribe to your blog and follow you on twitter.

  22. Stacie

    September 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks for the chance. I’m an email subscriber.

  23. Kinga

    September 13, 2009 at 8:45 am

    I would love to have this! Thanks!


  24. linnahsu

    September 13, 2009 at 9:30 am

    I’d like to read this book. Please enter me. 😀

    linna.hsu at gmail dot com

  25. Sara M

    September 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Count me in!

    Sara M
    silentalibis AT yahoo DOT com

  26. Beth

    September 13, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Please enter me. Thanks for the chance.

  27. Dawn M.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I would love the chance to read this book. Count me in! :0)

    I subscribe by email.

    Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles was the last book that really surprised me. I thought it would be the typical star-crossed teenage love story but it ended up being much deeper. It’s been pretty much my favorite read of this year.


  28. Sue

    September 14, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I’d love a chance!! smickelson1993 at yahoo dot com

  29. Susan Helene Gottfried

    September 14, 2009 at 10:49 am

    No need to enter me, Laura. I’m dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I’ve got this posted at Win a Book for you.

  30. Sue

    September 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I’d love to win! Thanks for sharing.

  31. J.E.

    September 14, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    need a good fall read,,thx for the contest…

  32. heatherzilla

    September 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    This sounds like a great book. Please include me in the giveaway.

  33. Cherie J

    September 15, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Sounds good. Thanks for the drawing. This book sounds good.

    +1 I am a subscriber.

    +1 Book that surprised me because I was not expecting much from it was Twilight. I am usually not into vampire books but I gave this a try and was immediately hooked.

  34. Haley

    September 18, 2009 at 9:03 am

    enter me into the contest!
    +1 for comment
    +1 subscriber rss
    +1 posted this on my blog (
    +1 posted on
    +1 Mortal Instruments books surprised me, they were completely unexpected. i was thinking vampires and demons and stuff, but the world of the shadowhunters was such a surprise!

    haley mathiot at

  35. Cheryl M

    September 21, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Please enter me. Have seen other reviews regarding this book and I think I would enjoy it.

  36. Cheryl M

    September 21, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Am a subscriber and follower of your blog.

  37. Cheryl M

    September 21, 2009 at 3:14 am

    Bonus entry
    The book that surprised me the most would have to be “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult. As a mother of 2 boys, it made me think what would I do in that situation. And then the ending….DID NOT see that one coming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. Haley

    September 21, 2009 at 6:04 am

    + a book that surprised me was Mortal Instruments. it was not at all what i expected. it wasn’t even about what i thought it would be about!
    +i follow you by rss
    +i tweeted at
    +i posted on my blog post at:


  39. jacque

    September 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    I having been wanting to read this! I am crossing my fingers and toes. lol
    I subscribe by email.
    The Generals daughter really surprised me when I read it. Thanks!

  40. CherylS22

    September 23, 2009 at 9:39 am

    +1 George Pelecanos is one of my favorite authors – please count me in!

    +1 I subscribe via Google Reader

    +1 The Lord of the Rings trilogy surprised me – I never expected to be drawn into the story as much as I was.

  41. Jonnie H

    September 23, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Looks like a great read!

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