Read back home by Michelle Magorian Online

back-home

Rusty Dickinson was sent to the United States from England at the age of seven in 1940 to survive the war. When she returns in 1945, she finds a country and a family she neither understands nor likes, and vice versa....

Title : back home
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 10801218
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 268 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

back home Reviews

  • Emer
    2019-03-20 20:44

    I remember first reading this book when I was about 11 or 12 years old. It was a perfect book to read at that age as not only was it a wonderful story that taught me about the toll that a war takes on a child but I also remember identifying with the same awkward adolescent changes and experiences that the protagonist, Rusty, was going through. I must've borrowed my library's copy at least a dozen times. One of my all time absolute favourite childhood books. I really need to get a copy for my own personal library five stars

  • CLM
    2019-03-06 22:33

    When Rusty returns to England after having been evacuated to America during WWII, both her family and the country seem unfamiliar and alien. Adjusting to her old life is not made easier by the fact that she now has an American accent and a free and easy way of challenging authority that does not make her popular with her teachers or peers. Worst of all, Rusty feels as if her mother is a stranger, and not very supportive at that. And boarding school, often the refuge for those unhappy at home, becomes a place where Rusty is terrorized until she decides to run away.

  • Alex Baugh
    2019-02-17 21:21

    Michelle Magorian is probably best known for her excellent book Goodnight, Mr. Tom, but she also wrote several other World War II novels for adolescent readers. One of those other books is Back Home. It begins in the summer of 1945. The war is over and 12 year old Virginia Dickinson is returning to England. Virginia had been a scared, timid 7 year old when she was evacuated to an American family in Connecticut. Five years have passed and she is confident 12 year old who now goes by the name Rusty, the nickname her American family gave her because of her red hair. Rusty isn’t very happy about her return. She barely knows her own mother, who is now a talented mechanic with the Women’s Voluntary Service (WVS.) She has a four year old brother Charlie that she has never met and who dislikes Rusty from the beginning. And, she has acquired an American accent, which is greeted with disdain and she is constantly told that she must lose it. Rusty is temporarily taken to Devon, where her mother and brother have been living with an elderly woman named Beatie. There she meets Beth Hatherly, a girl whose own family seems to resemble the rather bohemian American family Rusty stayed with. She is just beginning to enjoy herself in Devon, when she, her mother and brother move back to her grandmother’s house in London. For Rusty, the move is again temporary, she has been enrolled in a girls’ boarding school, Benwood House, in part to become re-anglicized and hopefully to help her lose her accent. Rusty’s paternal grandmother is strict, critical and condescending. She intensely dislikes Rusty’s accent, her confidence and her behavior. She also feels Charlie is too coddled by her daughter-in-law and needs to learn to behave like a big boy.But, if living in her grandmother’s felt like hell on earth, boarding school is worse. Benwood House is definitely not the Chalet School. It is cold, unfriendly, condescending and highly critical of Rusty’s American experience and, of course, the ‘despicable’ accent. Everything Rusty does seems to result in a mark against her and her house, which has the unfortunate name Butt House. One day, on a trip into town, Rusty overhears some boys calling one member of their group Yank, and she begins talking to him, not realizing that speaking to boys is against the rules. For this infraction, Rusty receives a discipline mark and is called up in front of the whole school and publicly humiliated. The next day she receives the sad news that Beatie has died. Feeling sad and alone, that night, Rusty discovers that she can climb down some scaffolding outside her window, and escape into the woods surrounding the school, feeling free for the first time since arriving in England. She manages to get a note to Yank on her next visit to town, telling him where and when to meet her that night. The boy, Lance, shows up and they continue to meet at night, exploring and talking. Eventually, they find a bombed out house and Rusty begins to decorate it with the carpentry, painting and stenciling skills she learned in the US. Gradually, however, Lance begins to be accepted by the boys in his school, while things only get worse for Rusty, especially after her father returns home from the army. It is clear that Rusty’s parents have grown apart during the five years of war. Her mother has become quite independent and refuses to give that up even though she is expected to by both her husband and his mother. Rusty, who has been coming home on weekends, is told by him that she will remain in school from now on. This is unbearable and when Rusty returns to school after Christmas vacation, she decides to run away. Back Home is not just a war story; it is also a classic misfit come of age story. The level of bullying and intolerance directed at Rusty was, well, almost intolerable as a reader. The girls at school seemed to think she had it easy in the states, while they were left to live through the war in a much more up close and personal way; others resented her open, friendly American ways, and her more colorful, stylish American clothing. This theme of bullying and intolerance is still relevant in today’s world, especially given the fact that there seems to be, probably not in increase in bullying, but rather a crueler, more public presence of it, thanks to social media. Her mother wanted Rusty to be the same little girl she was before she was evacuated. Her father and grandmother expected Rusty to conform to their idea of a proper English young lady and cast off her five years in the US as though they were nothing more than worn out old socks. Rusty and her mother have to learn to accept that they have changed and to be true to themselves, not what others wanted them to be. But can a leopard change its spots? Maybe, maybe not.I also thought Back Home was a very good example of an aspect of evacuation that, really, I haven’t run into before and I wonder how many kids returned home to find the same kind of difficulties Rusty faced. As always, Magorian has crafted a well written story and one that I would highly recommend. It is by no means the tear jerker that Goodnight Mr. Tom is, but that doesn’t make it any less compelling.

  • Trish at Between My Lines
    2019-03-20 17:22

    I've read a sample of this thanks to Penguin UK and it has been a reminder of just why I loved this book so many years ago. That sense of not belonging is captured so clearly by all the children returning home to England from America after the war. Their homeland and parents feel like strangers and the struggle to adapt and fit back it makes for a very emotional storyline.You get hooked in very quickly by twelve-year-old Rusty as she is a very likeable main character but one who plummets into a state of depression. England has changed, her family has changed, Rusty has changed and now none of them fit together easily. Rusty is a misfit with her new life and it makes for a sad but realistic read. So many families must have experienced exactly this the war and it must have been a horrible anti-climax after dreaming for so long of happy family reunions and a world returning to normal. I really appreciated how the plot got dark and gritty as Dusty tries to make sense of her new/old world.The boarding school setting was another highlight especially as it wasn't all jolly hockey sticks like so many books from that period are. It was oppressive and another way to isolate Rusty. I only have vague memories now at what exactly happened at school but I know it wasn't good.Yes, I really need to go re-read the whole book now! The sampler was only a tease and not enough but as it has inspired me to find a new copy, it''s not all bad.

  • Redfox5
    2019-03-08 23:44

    Having loved 'Goodnight Mister Tom', I was interested to see what else the author had written and am pleased to say that 'Back Home' is another gem.I really felt for Rusty in this book. After having being evacuated to America 5 years ago, she finally heads back to England and really struggles to adjust. Her mum feels like a stranger, she has a brother she has never met and everyone hates her accent. England also seems grey and dull compared to the USA and everything is still heavily rationed.Nobody around her seems to appreciate how difficult the whole experience would have been for a young girl and they think the best thing for her is to send her away to boarding school. Here she is bullied by her fellow pupils and teachers alike and becomes more and more isolated.This story will hit a nerve with anyone who's ever felt left out or alone, especially in the school environment. Would highly recommend this book.

  • Jheelkamal Nayak
    2019-02-27 21:44

    I really feel for Rusty (the protagonist) in this book. After returning from America after 5 years, she can't just jump into her old English life, everything is different her accent, her principles, even her family. Even the weather seems dull and garb compared to America.She is lonely and misunderstood and nobody seems to appreciate how the whole experience has been for her. She is sent away to boarding school and bullied by her fellow schoolmates and ridiculed by her teachers.This story will sure hit a nerve with anyone's who's ever felt isolated and alone. Set in the post war England, this story is a must read for us all.

  • Anna
    2019-02-21 21:30

    This book was amazing. It really made me reflect on how I react to certain things and how I am so lucky to have everything I have!"Back Home" was about a girl called Virginia "Rusty" Dikinson who got sent away from her family in 1940 because her mother wanted to keep her safe from the war that was happening in England at the time. She was sent to America and after 5 years she grew into what she called an 'American family' of her own with the Omsks. In 1945 she had to be sent back to England to be with her family as the war was calming down. When she got back to her rightful home she hated it- it was cold, she felt like a fish out of water and her mother acted like she had never returned. Everyone was acting like total strangers and all she longed to do was to go back to America. She was laughed at because of her American slang and her accent. She was sent to a boarding school where they had silly rules like 'You aren't allowed to say okay" and "no talking to boys". All the kids were horrible and the teachers were worse because they hated her. While in town with Matron she met a boy called Lance who also got sent way to America in the war. She thought he was her only true friend so every night they would sneak out to their "cabin in the woods" and make it their own. Rusty was only a weekly boarder at this stage so every weekend she went back to her grandmother's house with mother and Charlie. She hated her grandmother so much and when her father came back he made it worse. Charlie was misbehaving and Grandmother would dicipline Rusty and her mother on every word they said. Rusty even got the cane from her father. It all got worse and worse; Beatie died, Rusty would not be nice to her family and in the end she ran away. She and Lance knew that if anyone found out about their secret cabin in the woods, they would be expelled from school. Ironicly the police found it and a lady who knew Peggy Dikinson (Rusty's mother) found Rusty. She was expelled from school but everything came together and Rusty, Charlie and mother lived a happy life in the Devon house.This is a great book. It might take a little while to get into, but you'll love it more and more as you read.I recommend this book to anyone- all ages and both boys and girls.

  • Elizabeth K.
    2019-03-05 18:36

    This is an older kidlit title -- I've had this thing for the past year or two where I'm focused on novels and non-fiction accounts of the children who were evacuated from Britain to the US during WWII, based on a conversation that was going on with the Betsy-Tacy group. Kidlit fans may recall that Magorian is probably best known for the five-Kleenex Goodnight, Mr. Tom. In this book, Rusty, our heroine, has returned to England after living in Connecticut for most of the war years, and has a variety of difficulties adjusting to her "new" life -- feeling estranged from her mother, not being recognized by her little brother, having not suffered the rationing and shortages along with her UK peers, and generally acting too Americanized to fit in. She has a miserable time at boarding school, until she discovers how to sneak out of her dormitory and go exploring at night. The plot is snappy, if none too profound, and it's a nice look at the details of home life immediately following the war. One odd thing, which I think comes of this book having first been published in the early 1980s, is that the author has stridently included robust mentions of menstruating and bathroom use. They don't have anything at all to do with the plot, it's that thing from the 1970s and early 80s where writers for young adult audiences felt the need to hammer home the point that there is NOTHING SHAMEFUL about menstruating or using the bathroom. Now of course, it just seems jarring. Of course, I probably cannot complain too much about scatalogical focus in books, having just spent half of the previous review earnestly explaining about dog poo ... but there you have it.Grade: B- This is a serviceable book, but nothing about the writing makes it stand out.Recommended: It is interesting, I think, for its subject matter of the returning evacuee, but even in this limited genre there are other books that do it better.2008/22

  • Grammar*Kitten
    2019-03-12 00:21

    This was one of my all time favourite books when I was a child.I remember the copy I had - it had a different cover back then - but it was the most tattered, dog eared book I have perhaps ever owned. I have a sneaking suspicion that I might have actually stolen it from school. Either that or my mum picked it up for me from a second hand book stall at a school fete or something, but either way I'm digressing.I probably read it nearly twenty times. I used to love stories about this kind of time period - I think it was about then that I'd seen the film 'A League of their Own', (and like when I watched Titanic and turned into a mini historian on the subject of the real sinking) I got really into that time period.This is a magical story, well written with brilliant characterisation, that not only touches the imagination but conveys the real-life difficulties faced by familes that had been torn apart and were trying to glue themselves back together into a cohesive unit. I think I might have to dig up that old copy and re-read it at some point - soon.

  • Christine
    2019-03-06 17:38

    (view spoiler)[1. Wartime evacuee Rusty returns to Britain with an American accent, and meets a mother she doesn't recognise. 2. The war is over but the battle is only just beginning for Rusty, as she moves to Guildford to face her acid-tongued grandmother. 3. With the loss of her only friend, Rusty is desperate to return to her second family in America.4. (hide spoiler)]

  • Bex
    2019-02-19 00:42

    Love it as a comfort read. Rusty isn't the child her mother sent to America and is struggling to fit into post war Britten

  • janetandjohn
    2019-03-20 17:34

    Anything my Michelle Magorian is worth reading (Goodnight Mr Tom), and this is no exception. Rusty has been evacuated to America during WW2, and when she returns home everything is alien to her. She has to learn how to cope.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-01 23:44

    Similar to Mr. Tom. This young girl comes to America and then must readjust to Britain.

  • Tole
    2019-03-14 21:30

    I really enjoyed this book but the 'america is great, post war england is shit' message was pretty strong.

  • Lisa Birch
    2019-03-02 19:29

    I have reread this book more than any other. In fact, once I finished reading it, felt sad, and immediately started it again.Story time:Virginia, who likes to be known as Rusty, returns to England after four years of being a sea evacuee in the United States. She is 12 on her return, and has few memories of England. Her 'adopted' parents helped instill a love of art and woodwork, and her siblings gave some confidence to the very small Virginia who arrived in the States at age 7.On her return, her family seem like strangers. Her mum is a part time mechanic, her brother wasn't born before Virginia left for the US, and he becomes instantly jealous of her. Her dad is still serving in the war on her return. Virginia's mum, Peggy, had been evacuated to Devon and loves the Estate, and the home she and her friends have created during their time together. No one seems to understand Rusty, except the fun loving old timer, Beatie, who owns the house. Soon though, Virginia is sent to boarding school, and with her mother and brother, must readjust to their life before the war. Their former house is ruled by an unkindly grandmother, who dotes on Virginia's father, and disregards Peggy and her children for a myriad of reasons. At boarding school, Virginia is rejected by her peers for 'showing off' (very Enid Blyton), and by her teachers for being behind in her studies, although she was a good student in the States. About halfway through, Virginia finds a place in which she can unleash her creativity, which leads to the compelling ending.Some thoughts:The character of Beatie, and the character of Beatie's house, is simply magic! I would love to have a hug from Beatie. She is insightful, intuitive, but most of all, does not ruin the story by telling people specifically all the things they could or should be doing, she gently guides them that way.This is the only book I can find about a sea evacuee returning, though I have read books about evacuees adjusting to their new lives. I found the comparisons between USA and England fascinating, and felt incredibly sad for the characters, especially Rusty's adopted parents. I felt at the end of the novel, Rusty would probably stay in England, rather than go back to USA for college, but you never know.There is a telemovie of this starring Hayley Mills as Peggy. I watched it all on You Tube, and it captured some parts of the book much better than my reading of the book did. Judith Poole is both old-school-mean-girl and earnest, for example.The ongoing struggle between Rusty being all for women's rights and education and her disdain for her mother's interest in cars was frustrating at times.There are a few unresolved issues for me. Firstly, Uncle Harvey's sad departure before Rusty arrives. Surely Mitch could contact Harvey for the family if they really wanted him to. Even Peggy regrets this choice, and there isn't really a good reason it couldn't be undone. Also, poor Ivy. I want to know what happens with her marriages, and have wanted to for a long time.This book is incredible. I have read Goodnight Mister Tom, and I know how much acclaim it has and does deserve. This book is well worthy of the same.

  • LH Johnson
    2019-02-27 00:30

    I have a lot of love for Michelle Magorian, one of the great dames of British children's literature. I've spoken about Back Home before, briefly, in a list of books featuring Dartington Hall, the place where I went to University. It was, however, a too brief mention and so I returned to Back Home in order to review it properly.And, to be honest, I returned because I've spent too long without reading a Michelle Magorian. She's one of those writers who simply is and always will be there in my life and her stories are ones that I return to when I need comfort, or when I just need to remind myself of what can happen when people are really good at what they do.Back Home is a gorgeous, powerful book. Virginia is returning to the UK after being evacuated during the second world war to the United States. She's come back with a new nickname, Rusty, and a new more confident personality. Fitting back into the world that she left is hard. Her family still expects her to be the Virginia they let go, her grandmother basically loathes her, and the war torn nature of Britain comes as stark contrast to the life Rusty led in the United States. And so, perhaps inevitably, Rusty is sent to boarding school to bring her back to the girl that various people want her to be. It does not go well. Alex Baugh sums it up excellently in this review by calling it "a misfit come of age story." What's particularly interesting is that this by no means refers solely to Rusty. There's a strong feminist slant towards some of the novel, particularly the storyline affecting Rusty's mother, and so Back Home is not just the story of Rusty figuring out who she is now. It's the story of a whole lot of people figuring out who they are after the world changed all around them.Magorian's language and writing style are vivid and heartfelt. There's points in this where you feel every single step taken by Rusty and, as ever with a Magorian, there will be tears. But there's more than sadness in this book, it's not just about those sorts of tears. It's about hope and joining these characters on their journey of discovery.Michelle Magorian is outstanding. You should all go read her stuff, now. I'll write you a note for PE and I'll phone your boss for you. Trust me, it's worth it.

  • Andrée
    2019-03-20 01:27

    Really enjoyed this despite being old enough to be Rusty's Gran....a different slant on what did you do in the war....?

  • Sheepdog
    2019-03-03 01:46

    If you know Magorian's "Goodnight Mr. Tom" (which I must admit, I only know from the movie), you're half way to understanding Back Home.Back Home is the story of a girl who was evacuated to the USA at the start of WWII, age 7. We hear little of her days there, except as recollections in the course of her "new" life, back in England, 1945, 12 years old.It is easy to forget how different the USA and UK of those eras were.And consider the differenece between a 7 year old and a 12 year old. Poor Rusty is expected to be the child she would have been if she had not spent those special years in a foreign land and significantly "removed" from the war that her country and family have had to endure.Very moving account of the child's difficulties. It's not as if anyone is deliberately unkind... it was just an unkind world, and she had to make the best of it. Almost more heartbreaking for the fact that there are no "monsters"... just ordinary people, as ever, not doing as well as they would in a perfect world.The author allows herself a little bit of license, to incorporate "an adventure" into the story, but nothing too extreme. Just good "Swallows and Amazons" type stuff, and not central to the basic story. But it does keep it from being as dull as a rigourous account of post-war Britain would have been.Stunning depictions of how children and adults can, without malice or stupidity on either side, entirely mis-understand each other.A moving tale. But thought-provoking, "worth" "going there".

  • Jannah (Cloud Child)
    2019-03-10 19:36

    Great book. Didn't touch me as much as Goodnight Mr. Tom or A Little Love Song but its definitely going on the favourites pile.Virginia or Rusty as she's been called by her American family is returning to England after 5 years. She was evacuated to America at the age of 7 hen the war broke out. Returning to her 'real home' is confusing for her. She feels like a fish out of water, everything is more drab and dull. She has less freedom and her Americanisms are frowned upon and seen as something to be squashed out.She is a pretty plucky strong heroine and despite the horrible crap she goes through, does the best she can to stay sane. The reminiscing of back home and her conflicting feelings about the culture the war and the people were quite interesting and sad to read. I think this book embodies the feeling of not belonging, stuck between two worlds.I had moments of frustration and anger and happiness. I really hated her father and the constricting world he, her grandmother and her school had created, and consequently how this affected her (and her poor little brother Charlie). It was nice to see the relationship between her mother and her evolve and improve, though they misunderstood each other quite a bit. Michelle Magorian definitely doesn't shy away from the ugly, yet still makes a touching and hopeful story.Ok onto my next Magorian in the marathon!

  • Vickstar
    2019-03-09 17:27

    Continuing on with my boarding school trend, I also picked this up as a recommended boarding school classic. It's an interesting depiction of the immediate post-war era in England and the longer term repercussions of being a child evacuee, with great description that makes the historical feel very real. I was aware that children were evacuated from cities to the countryside during wartime in the UK but not that some were sent overseas; the main character Rusty was sent to the States and the book begins with her return to England and the family she barely knows. She left as a 7 year old and returned as a much more mature 12 year old where she struggles to fit back into her family and then the English boarding school she is sent away to. It was an interesting contrast between the two countries and ways of life, especially as the American family was extremely progressive (even to other Americans) compared to the English family which was very traditional (and dysfunctional). The story gets fairly grim for the main character as she struggles to adapt and there are plenty of hints at darker adult stories in the background which the main character is not entirely aware of or understands in the way the reader does. The plot does progress towards a (mainly) positive resolution however and I found this to be a quick and interesting read.

  • Hanna
    2019-03-15 20:21

    Was reminded of this book after I noticed that it's been turned into a Disney movie. I adored this book at age 12 or so. I read it in a sort of advanced EFL class I was attending, at the suggestion of the teacher. The totally dysfunctional family, the feeling of not belonging and the boarding school setting totally resonated with my circumstances. I recall toying with the idea of running away, just like the heroine in the book. I actually scouted out a location to run away to - an abandoned cottage in the forest. How sad it feels to revisit those memories... But it illustrates how much the book resonated with me. As an adult I must say I don't agree with one of the major the underlying assumptions of the book though. Namely that the English are stiff and cruel to children, while the American easygoing approach is the only way to go. Perhaps there was some level of truth to this in the 1940s when the story takes place, but the assumption nevertheless irritates me. This theme was very much emphasised in the film. This is a splendid book for mature children and young teenagers. It is educational in terms of illustrating the harsh conditions in England after the war. Educational and engaging book for girls ages 9 - 14. I give it 5 stars because of the strong impression it made on me.

  • Kate
    2019-03-11 17:26

    I have been forgetting to read this for something more than 20 years, and I'm glad I finally got around to it. Magorian wrote Goodnight Mr. Tom, which I still think is a great kids book about abuse and about the WWII evacuation of children to the countryside, good enough to reread every so often when I need a nice sense of faith in humanity and a good hanky-drenching.This story wasn't quite as good. Rusty was evacuated all the way to the US (I didn't realize they did that!) and when she returns home after VE day, she feels out of place and unhappy. Unfortunately for her, things will only get worse as her mother returns to their home with her paternal grandmother and Rusty is sent to a very strict boarding school. There are no firm happy endings here, but this is a good book to help a kid feel a connection with history. The characters are compelling and the situations seem to push reality enough to keep your sympathies where the author wants them. The book is less kind to the crueler characters than GMT was, allowing them no good justification for their actions, and as a grownup I found this a drawback - but a kid or teen might not.

  • Angie B
    2019-02-18 00:36

    I recently rediscovered this book, when sorting through some old children's books. I know the author is better known for Goodnight Mister Tom (which I also liked) but I always preferred this title. I really related to the story of 12 year old Rusty having to leave her loving home in the USA after 5 years and relocate back to England, as I also had to reluctantly move to a different town and school, at the same age. The story brings to life the very real plight of evacuees finally returning home again, often to a country and family who seem strange and hostile, after so much time spent away. It was an interesting take, on the situation, as most stories tend to deal with children actually being evacuated rather than the aftermath of what happened when the war ended. The book also deals with the bewildered family and their difficult relationships; the troubled marriage of Rusty's parents who have both learned to live independent lives, the curiously hostile then accepting sibling relationship between Rusty and Charlie and the efforts of Rusty to reconnect with both her parents who are now strangers to her. This book has such a lot to offer and even adults can appreciate the carefully crafted tale of love, loss and family relationships as seen through the eyes of a pre-teen girl.

  • Paula
    2019-02-21 23:34

    Like 'Goodnight Mr Tom' also by Michelle Magorian which I read earlier this month, I first read 'Back Home' when I was a teenager and like 'Goodnight Mr Tom', I also enjoyed the book the second time as much as I did the first time. 'Back Home' is a story of family and the changes they can and do go through, Rusty returns from a place of safety to a place that has changed drastically because of the war, and her family has changed to, after years of separation, Rusty and her parents barely know each other, things have changed between Rusty's parents too, which becomes apparent when Rusty's Father returns from War, he expects everything to have stayed the same and does not appreciate the change in Peggy or Rusty. I liked all of the characters, Rusty was my favourite, she was such a funny and bright character that I could not help liking and feeling sorry for when so many things were changing for her, Peggy and Beatie were also great characters, both women fiercely independent, with Beatie encouraging Peggy to find her own way, to find happiness. 'Back Home' is an interesting story which shows the life of a returned evacuee.An interesting and uplifting read.

  • Susann
    2019-03-12 18:35

    Vanessa B. recommended Back Home to me in the 6th grade and, given her great taste in books, I wonder why she and I were only school friends and never played outside of school. This was the first book to pierce my Anglophilia and show me that not everything about England is so dandy.After five swell years in the States with the bohemian Omsk family, Rusty has a hard time returning to bombed, rationed England and a family she barely remembers. I thought I remembered how intense Magorian can be and how she doesn't make anything easy, including relationships. I couldn't forget the awful dad and grandmother, but I must have blocked out Rusty's lowest point when (view spoiler)[ she almost commits suicide(hide spoiler)].Watching Rusty and Peggy slowly figure out each other is deeply satisfying. As wrenching as some of the other moments are, it's when Rusty and Peggy are at odds that are almost the hardest to read.With this reading I was impressed with Magorian's agility at slipping back and forth between authentic American English and British English.Last read: 10-15-05

  • stephanie
    2019-03-09 17:35

    i loved this book. if i had read this when i was younger, this clearly would have been a favorite. yes, it's a bit simple in the plot. rusty was 7 when she was sent to live with american relatives to be safe during the war. she returns at age 13 to a mother she doesn't know, and a country she has no memories of. however, the undercurrent of the women's movement was really spot-on, authentic, and didn't feel forced. peggy, rusty's mom, has had to adjust to life without a husband. rusty's grandmother struck me the hardest . . . such a hard line of decorum and modernizing and adjustment. i loved rusty in this, how she didn't mean to do things wrong but did anyway. i also adored beatie, and while i wanted some resolution with ivy, i still was happy with how it ended. but if there is a sequel i don't know about, someone let me know! rusty grabbed my heart, and so did peggy. i miss them already. must get a copy for myself.

  • Stephanie
    2019-03-01 19:37

    Many years ago, a friend of my mine recommended this book. I bought it and tossed it aside, thinking it boring. After re-reading the same author's masterpiece, Goodnight, Mr. Tom, I decided to give Back Home another try. Boy, am I glad I did. The story so clearly illustrates the sharp difference between postwar England and postwar America. It brought to mind Jessica Mitford's first impressions of the U.S. during the same period: the central heating, the endless optimism, the glorious food. As an American, I often take for granted the "can do" spirit of this country, and only realize how exceptional it is when I visit other countries. It's refreshing to read something positive about the U.S. in times like this. I also loved Rusty's growing appreciation for the English countryside, properly cooked delicacies, and strength in the face of tremendous loss. A very satisfying read.

  • hattie
    2019-03-20 18:37

    *Spoilers ahead*I first read Back Home when I was about 12 years-old. The dog-eared copy once belonged to my older sister and she loved it. I subsequently dog-eared it even more, returning to it time and time again throughout my early to mid-teens. I instantly connected with Rusty’s character and could deeply empathise with her alienation and injustices, both at her draconian boarding school (which makes Mallory Towers seem like a holiday club in comparison) and her new home with the ‘Victorian’ paternal grandmother. I remember wishing that Rusty would be rescued by her American family and return overseas, but the reality is very real and sometimes harsh, which makes it stand out from many other children’s books.

  • Emma Dickinson
    2019-02-21 23:22

    Michelle Magorian is probably best known for Goodnight Mr Tom, which I must say is a classic, and favorite of mine.This book looks again at the WWII, but from the viewpoint of an evacuee who was sent away to American during the war. It details first her return to England, then the return of her father from the war. Everything to Rusty is different - the rations, the routines, even having to sit silently around her grandmother. Her life is turned upside down with the return of her rather formidable father who is a downright bully to her, her brother and mother. He is, however, the apple of his rather frosty mother's eye, and can do no wrong.I read this book about 25 years ago, and again recently, and must say it is still one of my favorites.

  • Kat Mant
    2019-03-16 19:31

    I decided to start the year off with this book as it had been a favourite of mine when I was younger. I love reading about this time period, imagining myself as an evacuee. It really gets you straight in to the mindset of 12 year old Rusty and I loved being transported to this era.What I adored, and completely forgot about this book, was that it is set in Devon. I currently live in Exeter and it was lovely to have that even greater sense of connection when reading this the second time around. It was lovely to go back to a time which made me remember myself at 12-14 and I'm so glad I began this year with this book.