Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Homeward Bound by Richard Smith.
Richard Smith is a writer and storyteller for sponsored films and commercials, with subjects as varied as caring for the elderly, teenage pregnancies, communities in the Niger delta, anti- drug campaigns and fighting organised crime. Their aim has been to make a positive difference, but, worryingly, two commercials he worked on featured in a British Library exhibition, ‘Propaganda’.
About the book
Homeward Bound features 79-year-old grandfather George, who didn’t quite make it as a rock star in the ‘60s. He’s expected to be in retirement but in truth he’s not ready to close the lid on his dreams and will do anything for a last chance. When he finds himself on a tour of retirement homes instead of a cream tea at the seaside his family has promised, it seems his story might prematurely be over.
He finds the answer by inviting Tara, his 18-year-old granddaughter, to share his house, along with his memories and vast collection of records. She is an aspiring musician as well, although her idea of music is not George’s. What unfolds are clashes and unlikely parallels between the generations – neither knows nor cares how to use a dishwasher – as they both chase their ambitions.
George’s daughter and son-in-law want rid of the meddlesome old man. Since he lost his wife he has become a burden or so said son-in law says. A cynic would think Toby is more interested in making a profit by selling everything George owns when they shove him off into a care home. Unfortunately George isn’t on board with those plans, especially if it means giving up his records, memories and independence.
He thinks he has come up with a brilliant solution when he invites Tara to stay with him while she attends uni. That way he can stay in his home and she has a safe place to stay. Two birds, one stone. Of course the reality of a slightly eccentric, lonely and yet incredibly interesting old man and a young girl on the cusp of adulthood and coming-of-age sharing a house together is going to be an experience filled with hiccups.
Tara and George bridge the gap – the huge generational gap, despite the differences between them. Grandfather and granddaughter have much more in common than they both realise and they also recognise the times they need support to each other or be a sympathetic listener.
Smith has written a tender, emotional and poignant story. It’s a story driven by a love of music. I think it’s one that readers will relate to. We are all somewhere in the generational hierarchy. We used to be Tara and one day we will be George, and hopefully we won’t have to deal with a daughter, son or in-law determined to see us end our days in an abysmal uncaring home for the elderly.
Buy Homeward Bound at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador; pub date 2 Feb. 2020. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Barnes and Noble. Buy at Waterstones. Buy at Ink84bookshop.