The Christa Parrish File:
of Home Another Way
Reviewed by Marshall Hughes
Home Another Way by Christa Parrish
Sarah Graham suffers from brokenness - brokenness of her dreams, of her
family and most of all, of her spirit. Recently divorced and down to her
last few dollars, Sarah gets word that her hated father, out of jail finally,
has died and left her an inheritance which she can claim by going to the
tiny, New York town where he spent his finals days.
Upon arriving in town, 27-year-old Sarah finds there’s a catch to getting the money which she so badly needs: she must live in her father’s backwater town for six months. To someone used to living in the fast lane, or at least used to fantasizing that she was living in the fast lane, Jonah, New York, is the last place to spend any time.
Sarah is willing to give up half of the money if she can just grab her cash and go, but soon finds out that’s not an option. After further reflection, and faced with no real prospects for her future, (at least no good prospects) she decides to stick it out for half a year through the frozen New York winter.
It soon becomes obvious to the reader why her father gave the six-month stipulation. His motives were clear, but will the good, Christian people of Jonah be able to change her heart?
“ Home Another Way” flows smoothly, with no breaks in the story line or pages wasted on irrelevant tangents. The characters are vibrant and mostly believable. The chapters tend to be very short (reading 19 chapters will only get you to page 70), giving the book a less-than-full-brainpower-needed feel. Some would call that a light read, which is not a bad thing if that is what you are looking for.
Written by first-time author Christa Parrish, the book is undoubtedly enjoyable, but one criticism that might come to many readers minds’ is the hammer-over-the-head foreshadowing regarding Sarah’s love interest. In the end, however, things don’t quite turn out as you might have expected from the early pages of the book. Sarah has changed a lot, but still has enough anger to be capable of hurting those who love her.
Good books often have surprise endings, and this book’s ending certainly has a surprise or two.
Marshall Hughes is a former sports writer for the Honolulu Advertiser. For most of the past 22 years he has taught English in Japan. He has taught at the university level in America, Japan and China. Among his hobbies are sports, traveling and photography. He has been to 41 countries and is always hoping to go somewhere new. He is an award-winning photographer in both Japan and America. His bi-lines include The Washington Post, The Pacific Daily News (Guam), The Contra Costa Times and several sports publications.