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Reviewed by Sarah Stuart for Readers' Favorite
From House to Home (Karina’s Journey Book 1) by Patricia Bell opens with Karina on her way home from school. All the emergency services, including the police, surround the trailer that is her home. Despite seeing a body, who may or may not be her mother, alive or dead, being stretchered out, she obeys Mom’s instruction: run. Mom never specified to where she should run! After a night on a park bench, officialdom catches up with her at school, and she’s taken to the home of her “emergency contact”: an aunt she never knew existed. Will Karina find a welcome? Why did her drug-dealing mother never tell her she had siblings; her aunt and a young uncle? Does Aunt Kari know the identity of Karina’s dad?
Patricia Bell owes me a whole box of tissues. From House to Home made me laugh until I cried, and cry while Karina sorts her way through a maze of emotions no youngster should experience, but too many do. The light touch of comedy, from the rucksack that doesn’t make a good pillow, to stubborn Grandma who insists on Karina’s right to eat junk food, makes a serious story a delight to read, and the journey from doubt to belief in God uplifting, mixed as it is with teenage angst and romance. Karina sets out to solve the eternal mystery, “who am I?”, but for her, this is a true mystery with a deft and cryptic twist. I recommend From House to Home unreservedly; this is a book to keep and treasure.