2 minutes reading time (331 words)

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo reviewed by Georgie Donaghey

Just like a surprise left under the Christmas tree, a copy of Kate DiCamillo's latest offering, Louisiana's Way Home arrived on my doorstep. 

Louisiana Elefante captured hearts in Kate's 2016 story, Raymie Nightingale. Her latest creation tantalises readers by sharing more of this thought-provoking character's story. 

'I'm going to write it all down, so that what happened to me will be known, so that if someone were to stand at their window at night and look up at the stars and think, My goodness, whatever happened to Louisiana Elefante? Where did she go? they will have an answer. They will know. This is what happened. I will begin at the beginning.'

Louisiana's granny wakes her in the middle of the night announcing the day of reckoning has arrived! They must leave immediately. Louisiana isn't initially concerned as Granny has many middle-of-the-night ideas. This time, however, things are different. This time, Granny intends for them never to return. 

The idea of being separated from her best friends, Raymie and Beverly is unthinkable.

What provisions had Granny made for her beloved cat, Archie? Where were they headed?

Although she tries, Louisiana is no match for Granny and her battle of the wills. Louisiana vows never to speak to Granny again. 

Set in the '70's, this story written in the first-person voice of Louisiana takes us on a journey to a small town in Georgia. Her life becomes entwined with the colourful characters around her the crotchety curler wearing motel owner, the caramel chewing town organist, Clarence the crow, Burke Allen and the family Burke Allen's and the walrus-like Reverend Obertask.

20 miles from her Florida home will Louisiana uncover the secrets that Granny fears? Will she lift the 'curse of the sundering?' Will she forgive Granny from tearing her from everything she held dear to her heart?

A beautifully constructed story with well-developed characters. Louisiana's Way Home is a story of hope, kindness and of discovering that life is not always what we are told. Have the tissues ready for this one.
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Wednesday, 11 December 2019
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