Trailing her orange suitcase, and a heart full of worry, thirteen-year-old Agatha is about to go home. She has been in and out of foster care for years now, but her latest new life lived with naval precision with Katherine, Lawson and their dog, Chief, has proved to be the salvation that Agatha needed. She has new friends, a sense of place, and space to breathe.
But when the social worker says it’s time to return to her parents, her world comes crashing down. “Home” has always made her anxious and ashamed—and she can’t understand why now she is being forced to go back. Is it possible to find a way to love her parents without having to live with them?
Agatha is thirteen, and she wants to move on from the trail of broken promises that her life is littered with.
Ever since the accidental death of her five year old sister, when Agatha was seven, her life has spiralled out of control. The loss hit her parents hard, and they became excessive hoarders who cannot bear to part with anything and who do not want to leave their house. As a result, Agatha has been in and out of foster homes for years.
But her new life with Katherine, Lawson and their dog Chief is providing hope. But can Agatha dare to believe that everything could ever work out ok for her?
Agatha blames herself for not holding her sister’s hand and still loves her parents. She just can’t see a happy ending to her story.
This is a gently written story of anxiety, courage, compassion and hope, including themes of family and foster families, mental health, friendship and belonging, this is a terrific novel best suited to a 10—14 year old reader.
Reviewed by Rob