by Kay Bratt
In Wish Me Home, bestselling author Kay Bratt draws on her own life experiences to create a raw, yet inescapably warm, novel about friendship and a wary heart’s unexpected capacity to love.
A hungry, stray dog is the last thing Cara Butter needs. Stranded in Georgia with only her backpack and a few dwindling dollars, she already has too much baggage. Like her twin sister, Hana, who has broken Cara’s heart one too many times. After a lifetime of family troubles, and bouncing from one foster home to another, Cara decides to leave it all behind and strike out alone—on foot.
Cara sets off to Florida to see the home of her literary hero, Ernest Hemingway, accompanied only by Hemi, the stray dog who proves to be the perfect travel companion. But the harrowing trip takes unexpected turns as strangers become friends who make her question everything, and Cara finds that as the journey unfolds, so does her life—in ways she could never imagine.
Wish Me Home has been the right choice for starting this new year. In this novel, Kay Bratt captures the essentials of the human soul and describes with delightful prose how different forms of solidarity can help a girl to find herself and her inner strength and fight for her happy ending.
From the beginning, we follow Cara’s trip and soon we can appreciate her new and strong bond with Hemi, a stray dog who becomes her most loyal friend. Page after page, we discover fragments of Cara’s past and her unbalanced relationship with her twin sister, Hana.
During her journey to Key West to visit the home of Ernest Hemingway, Cara’s favorite author, she and Hemi meet many lovely persons, but they also must face difficulties. When they finally arrive at their final destination, Cara could finally reconsider important aspects of her life and recall the most dramatic events of her past, to find peace. But will she be able to focus only on her happiness, or will be again trapped in a complex and unhappy life because of her twin’s depression?
In Wish Me Home, Kay Bratt has this extraordinary ability to explore, with such sensitivity, themes of depression and how negative experiences of foster children can influence their personalities, but also the importance of the twin’s bond and how even small altruistic gestures can make the difference in our modern society.
As the story progresses, I was really curious to discover about Cara and Hana’s relationship, and how their past affects their present choices. In my opinion, the characters are very well described, and I really appreciate the author’s compelling style.
I think this book deserves five stars out of five.
About the author
Kay Bratt grew up in the Midwest as the child of a broken home and later, a survivor of abuse. Facing these obstacles in her own life instilled in Kay a passionate drive to fight for those that had been dealt an unfair hand. Upon arriving in China on an expatriate assignment with her husband in 2003, she was immediately drawn to the cause of China’s forgotten orphans.
Moved beyond tears by the stories of these children, she promised to give them the voice they did not have. In 2008, she self-published her memoir Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage to do just that. With the help of her readers, Kay continues to raise awareness and advocate for at-risk children. In China, she was honored with the 2006 Pride of the City award for her humanitarian work. She is the founder of the Mifan Mommy Club, an online organization which provides rice for children in China’s orphanages, and is also an active volunteer for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for abused and neglected children. Kay currently resides in Georgia with her husband and daughter.
To read more about Kay, check her website HERE!