⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Take Me Home by Karly Lane

Title: Take Me Home
Author: Karly Lane
Published: May 2021
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Readership: Adult
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★★.5
RRP: $29.99
Trigger warnings: Death of grandparent (off page), mention of abortion

I received a copy of Take Me Home from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When Elle Kinnaird takes the plunge and travels from her rural small-town life to the misty legends of her ancestors in the Scottish highlands, she finds that it’s a big world after all. A heartwarming novel about new beginnings, from the bestselling author of Fool Me Once.

It was a straightforward request. Take her gran home to her beloved Scotland.

In the space of a few days, Elle loses her job and her home and faces moving back in with her parents-where she knows she’ll hear a lot about how she is wasting her life, unlike her three siblings . . .

Then Gran’s will is read and everything changes.

It seems simple: a road trip across Scotland, a country Gran loved, to locate the family castle; meet some long lost cousins; oh, and work out what she wants to do with the rest of her life before returning home. Not a problem.

That is unless the family castle is a ruin that has pretty much been lost in time; the family Elle has never met seem to be hiding a mysterious secret; her over-achieving parents are breathing down her neck, and she’s running out of time to make a decision about her future.

Take Me Home is a glorious lesson in life, love and finding your true destiny.

Karly Lane’s back with another beautiful story about life, love and finding yourself.

Elle is one of four siblings, and the only one who (despite her mother’s best intentions) didn’t make it through university. Content with her small town life, her world is forever changed with the death of her beloved grandmother, who’s last wish was for her granddaughter to spread her ashes in her ancestral home in Scotland. At a crossroads in her own life, Elle takes the plunge, travelling all the way across the world to fulfil her promise and to hopefully find her own path, too.

I’ll admit, it took me a minute to get into this book. The opening set-up felt a little different to previous books by Lane, but once Elle got on the plane to Scotland, the entire shifted and I was deeply engrossed in the adventure unfolding on the pages.

This story deals with a lot of themes common in Lane’s previous books – family dynamics, finding oneself and finding love, although it’s really the first two that shine in this book. The romance that Elle finds while overseas doesn’t happen until the last third of the book, and while beautiful, is not a central storyline.

I enjoyed reading about families (and found families) in stories like this. Elle feels like she’s a constant disappointment to her family, which is full of high-flying, highly motivated individuals. In particular, her relationship with her mother is strained, and Elle feels like she’s constantly under attack for her own life choices. By contrast, when she meets her extended family in Scotland, she believes she’s found kindred spirits, and finds a connection she’s previously felt lacking. This, in turn, helps her to not only stand up to her parents expectations, but to also forge a new relationship with her immediate family.

There’s also a beautiful magical element woven through the story – Elle begins to hear her grandmother talking to her, encouraging her to travel and explore her ancestral home. While the book itself is not paranormal, it does lean heavily on the believes that some families can have traits or quirks that are just a little different. It ties in to the stories Elle remembers her grandmother telling her as a child, and helps to weave the past and present together.

As always, Karly Lane delivers on the premise of cozy story that will sweep you away on a journey.

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