The Year We Left Home
Jean Thompson has been celebrated by critics as “a writer of extraordinary intelligence and sensitivity” (O: The Oprah Magazine) and “one of our most lucid and insightful writers (San Francisco Chronicle). Now, Thompson brings together all her talents to deliver a career-defining novel. The Year We Left Home is a sweeping and emotionally powerful story of a single American family during the tumultuous final decades of the twentieth century, spanning from small-town Iowa to suburban Chicago to the coast of Italy. In a starred review, Booklist says, “Superb. Finely crafted. Thompson’s pithy humor, redolent details, and knowing compassion have never been sharper or more resounding as her characters’ follies and struggles reveal depthless truths about men and women, families and vocations, the lure of away and the gravitational pull of home.”
Jean Thompson is the author of Who Do You Love: Stories, a 1999 National Book Award finalist for fiction, and the novels City Boy andWide Blue Yonder, a New York Times Notable Book and Chicago Tribune Best Fiction selection. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.
It’s the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year-old Raine O’Rourke’s mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road — a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. As Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings, she forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters. But it’s an unexpected secret from Raine’s own life that changes her forever. Collette Morgan of Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, MN writes, “Sparrow Road has restored my faith in middle grade fiction. A beautiful ode to creativity, kindness, and the power of forgiveness.”
Sheila O’Connor is the award-winning author of three novels. Her poems, stories, and essays have appeared in various anthologies and magazines and her work has been recognized with foundation grants and fellowships. Sheila teaches fiction for Hamline University MFA Program where she also serves as fiction editor for Water-Stone Review.
Both books are available at Monkey See Monkey Read in downtown Northfield.