Stuart Evers - If This Is Home (3 stars)

Stuart Evers - If This Is Home

Author's debut novel explores the haunting power of the past and makes for a compelling read

Stuart Evers’ debut is a novel of contrasts; between reality and dreams, coming and going, want and need. Focusing on the harsh truth that you cannot outrun your past, the book is also a tribute to love in all its forms.

Trying to escape the dark memories of his small-town childhood, Mark Wilkinson packs his bags and leaves without looking back. However his past eventually catches up with him; the merest of triggers allow his memories to possess him, threatening to destroy his new life. In an attempt to exorcise his ghosts, Mark returns home to confront the darkness he left behind.

Despite being a little difficult to get into at first, the impressive manipulation of the narrative structure and distinctively authentic characters makes If This Is Home compelling reading. It’s the sort of book that lingers in the reader’s mind after the last page is turned.

The book’s tone never seems to settle, almost as if Evers is unsure if it should be a thriller, a ghost story or about self-discovery.

Then again, who says it can’t be all three?

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