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 Fiction Review    

 

 

Slow Way Home
by Michael Morris
HarperSanFrancisco, 2003
Hardcover, $22.95  ( 280 pages)
ISBN: 0-06-057143-8
 
  For young Brandon Willard 'home' means many things. 'Home' is his drug-addicted and negligent mother. 'Home' is the cherished family-owned farm. 'Home' is life on the run embraced in the love of his grandparents. 'Home' is the outstretched arms of Jesus and the fellowship of God's Hospital. 'Home' is the love of a state senator who shares her home and memories of being raised by grandparents with Brandon. 'Home' is also discovering inner peace, where Brandon overcomes the demons of his past, yet remembers the people who made him the man he becomes.

Eight year-old Brandon is put on a bus with a ticket to North Carolina, when his mother chooses to go with her latest man and abandon her son to grandparents he can't remember. But Nana and Poppy are Godsend in many ways as they heal the boy's night terrors and provide the security he has been lacking. However, his mother returns to claim her son, and the family ends up in family court fighting for custody of Brandon.  The judge chooses the mother, who soon is showing signs of falling back into bad habits.  The only solution for the grandparents is to take Brandon and live as fugitives.

Slow Way Home is highly emotional and fast-paced, but the social issues covered make this an intelligent book for debate. Set in the 1970's, the novel touches on the plight of the working man when laid-off; racism in northern Florida; blindness in family court system and foster care program; and blood family vs. extended family.

Michael Morris has written another empowering story of a young person escaping a dangerous environment and his journey to self-discovery and love. Slow Way Home is an excellent choice for book clubs.

A fifth-generation native of rural northern Florida, Michael Morris lives with his wife in Alabama. His debut novel A Place Called Wiregrass won the 2003 Christy Award for First Novel.

 

Joyce Dixon
Southern Scribe Reviews 
 

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