There are some books that call to you, that speak a language you so understand, that say in few words a world of change, reality, and difference. For me, Our Homesick Songs was such a book.
This lyrical, music set to words tale, encouraged the reader to paint pictures, to fill in those blank spaces on a canvas that was a story that in many ways was cautionary but also celebrated the idea of hope. Big Running is a small town fishing town. It was a beautiful place inspired by the people who resided there, the beauty of nature, and the catching of fish, their life blood. Then, in what seems like an instant, the fish are gone, and the town and its residents die a little each day. The people slowly leave and those left behind struggle with their hopes and dreams of time past and the eternal belief that life will return in its circular way and that what is beloved will again be within their grasp.
Aidan and Martha, parents to Cora and Finn, struggle to stay on their treasured island. Their children, Cora and Finn are left with one parent for six months at a time, as the parents strive to make ends meet. Each child believes they control their destinies. Finn thinking through music, his accordion and a solitary music instructor, that he will devise a way to bring the fish back, while Cora decorates the abandoned houses to represent the world outside of their village. Finn wants home to be that island, while Cora desires the rest of the world. This family searches for meaning, their own meaning through music, the songs of old, and the face of reality.
This beautiful lyrical tale, blended the mystical, the lyrical, and the musical with the daily trappings of reality. It created spaces in the text that required the reader to fill in their own thoughts, their own dreams, and mostly their own desire for the earth, our little corner of it, to provide us with our home, with our peace, and with our need to treasure the earth upon which we have built the place we call home.
Thank you to Emma Hooper, Simon & Schuster, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this ethereal story to this reader.
“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.” (Carl Sagan)