On Home by Becca Spence Dobias

An ARC copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.

Affiliate links can be found within this post. If you need additional information, please see the disclaimer.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

On Home is a breathtaking piece of classical literature in our modern framework. Using words to tell the stories of a family of women who have all struggled with their need to be loved, have a family and know who they are as individuals. The story is told from three different perspectives of the three women in this family; women who are all processing their experiences at different stages in their lives.

Cassidy is a very lost young woman living in California trying to escape her past in West Virginia and find herself. She seeks affirmation and love from men online doing cam shows as a sex worker. But when her father dies and she’s thrust back home, she is forced to face not only her own life, but the challenges of her own mother who she has always struggled to understand and her grandmother who will help her set her course.

The parallels between these three women brings the central story to life about what love means, why we seek it out and who we determine ourselves to be in that process. Also bringing attention to Cassidy’s discomfort with her own sexuality. While she gets naked for men online, she knows she’s a lesbian but struggles to really come out and embrace her own needs and desires. The journey of her own acceptance is what leads her to the happiness and inclusion that felt so far away for her. 

It will be easy for readers to focus on the first few chapters that introduce Cassidy and her work online and be immediately turned off because they don’t understand the driving factors behind it. But I can assure you that this book dives into deep themes about family dynamics and patterns.

For example, when Cassidy returns home to West Virginia and is back in the family farmhouse that has been in her family for generations we learn that the farmhouse really symbolizes the connection between generations; the essence of the family and family patterns that we all struggle with. To “come home” means something different to everyone, but within those questions we see the similarities, the differences and what makes us whole. 

What does it really mean to “come home” and realize who you are as a person? This journey is very different for everyone and until you arrive at that destination, you won’t realize the path others have travelled and how similar those footsteps are to your own.

Dobias brings you a refreshing look at life from individual perspectives and the collective in this work that covers sexuality, race, lifestyle, family and self appreciation. A book that will stay with me for a very long time!

Available August 31st, 2021!

About The Book

When tragedy strikes, Cassidy, a cam girl living in Southern California, must return to the small West Virginia town she left behind. Cassidy likes her job getting naked for men on camera, though she prefers sex with women. She never came out to her family or friends back in her home state―not about her sexuality and certainly not about her sex work. Now, she must figure out how to hold on to the life she’s built for herself while picking up the pieces of her fractured family.

As Cassidy’s story unfolds, we glimpse into the lives of the strong, complicated women who came before her: Jane, the sheltered daughter of farmers, escapes West Virginia for Washington, DC to work as a Government Girl for the FBI during World War II, until a fateful mistake threatens her future. Paloma, a Fulbright Scholar, journeys to newly Westernized Prague―only to fall for an idealistic but safe man from West Virginia.

Though worlds and generations apart, all three search for meaning as they face impending motherhood and the pull to return home to rural Appalachia.

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