Wednesday 23 March 2022

The Homecoming by Anna Enquist Blog Tour

 Translated books can sometimes be hard to read. The switch in language doesn't always work as well as is hoped by the publishers.

Having said that, I was really excited to read The Homecoming by Anna Enquist. Already an international bestseller, I was eager to read about the woman behind the famous English explorer James Cook and I can say without a doubt that she was one hell of a woman.


After twelve years of marriage to English explorer James Cook, Elizabeth has yet to spend an entire year with her husband. In their house by the Thames, she moves to the rhythms of her life as a society wife, but there is so much more to her than meets the eye. She has the fortitude to manage the house and garden, raise their children, and face unbearable sorrow by herself—in fact, she is sometimes in thrall to her own independence.

As she prepares for another homecoming, Elizabeth looks forward to James’s triumphant return and the work she will undertake reading and editing his voluminous journals. But will the private life she’s been leading in his absence distract her from her role in aid of her husband’s grand ambitions? Can James find the compassion to support her as their family faces unimaginable loss, or must she endure life alone as he sails off toward another adventure?

As I said at the beginning of my post, this book is expertly translated by Eileen Stevens.

Between her translations and Anna's superb narration, they have bought us a brilliantly insightful book. Not many people would have though to write from the wife's perspective.

This isn't a book written to excite.

No, this is about truth, about family, feelings and all those moments thought to be lost to time.

There are no explosive moments as such. 

Slow and methodical. It is based on true facts and I had the sense throughout that it was well researched, every detail had a certain emotion behind it.

We follow Elizabeth as she tries to navigate her way through family life as her husband spends many years adventuring on the sea. 

I truly admire this woman.

Told through narration from Elizabeth herself and correspondence from various people through letter writing at different periods of the cook's lives, there was a well rounded view of all that was happening at that time.

Her life, their lives aren't the easiest. Elizabeth and James face many hardships and adversities both together and apart. Through love and loss, Elizabeth's support for her husband remains, even if it waivered at times. 

The Homecoming isn't the happiest of tales.

Within there is much heartache and sorrow but that isn't what I took from this book. I was very much touched by the strength shown through Elizabeth's actions and choices. 

Well observed, this isn't a woman I would have gone out of my way to know more about her but I am very glad that I have been gifted such knowledge now.

Follow the rest of the blog tour for more insight into this remarkable woman.


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