Going Home (Sunbury Press, Inc.), the debut novel of Sharon Marchisello, is perhaps one of the most fascinating novels I came across in 2015. Though the genre of murder-mystery may be overrun with novels of coming home and confronting the past, Marchisello has breathed new life into several genres with her tight prose and gripping storyline. The dialogue is surprisingly fresh, and Marchisello often inserts poignant quips and an impressive social awareness into the characters’ interactions with one another.
However, not only does Going Home prove to be a stunning work of mystery, it also transcends a single genre and provides insight into the fragile inner workings of familial relations and the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s on those who suffer from it—those who struggle with the disease, and the loved ones who suffer alongside them.
When Michelle DePalma goes home to Two Wells, Texas, to visit with her elderly mother, the last thing she expects to find is her mother with the dead body of her caretaker, Brittany Landers. Michelle’s plans of going back to her perfect, orderly home in Atlanta are thwarted as she must begin not only taking care of her mother, but also trying to prove that the woman whose mind is quickly fading isn’t guilty of the caretaker’s murder. Proving her mother’s innocence, however, is more than a little difficult when secrets buried long ago come back to haunt Michelle—she quickly learns not only is blood thicker than water, but it also finds you wherever you are.
Going Home is gripping from the opening line and both haunts and intrigues readers as the novel progresses. Michelle’s plight is both heart-wrenching and insightful, and the fact that Going Home was heavily impacted by Marchisello’s experience with her mother suffering from Alzheimer’s gives the novel an additional dimension that allows the readers to better understand the effects of the disease on all those involved. Going Home is emotionally and mentally engaging, and it is a stunning debut worthy of high praise.
M. K. Sealy earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in literature from a Nashville university. She is a copyeditor for a Nashville-based publication, but also writes poetry, fiction, and is currently attempting a screenplay, all while working to obtain a Master of Education.
If you have a book you would like featured, send an ARC for consideration. The Killer Nashville Book Reviews are coordinated by Clay Stafford with the assistance of Emily Eytchison and credited guest reviewers.
*Killer Nashville is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you purchase a book from the links on this page, Amazon will give Killer Nashville a small percentage of the total sale. Killer Nashville receives zero compensation (other than sometimes the book to review) from publishers who have been selected for the Book of the Day.