The year is 1910. Katherine Davis, M.D. is an intelligent, self-assured, and attractive woman whose confidence perfectly reflects the confidence of a new century overflowing with scientific, medical, and technological breakthroughs. Without a moment’s hesitation, young Dr. Davis accepts the professional invitation of a lifetime when she travels to Chicago’s Hull-House to work with the celebrated social reformer, Jane Addams. Katherine is an excellent doctor eager to make a difference in the world and the people around her, and Chicago’s crowded tenements with their burgeoning immigrant population offer just that opportunity.
Everything Katherine believes about right and wrong, about good and evil she learned from her parents and the secure childhood they gave her. But times have changed, and Katherine can no longer rely on the values of the past. She has outgrown that past and the home of her childhood seems outdated and old-fashioned compared to the progressive society around her. She’s an independent woman, who must make her own way and follow her own ideals. When Katherine meets the dazzling Douglas Gallagher, a man as confident and as fearless as she, a successful man who has left his own past behind, an uncompromising-even ruthless-man, she is asked to choose between her past and her future. And the choice is so much more complicated than she expected! Because for Katherine, deciding where-and who-home really is will change her forever. And for good.
I was intrigued by the story-line of this book, but hesitated for awhile before deciding to read it. It’s the third book in a series and I figured to get anything out of the story I should probably read the others first. The problem was, this is the one I wanted to read. I needn’t have worried. This story can definitely stand alone.
I was hoping to get a glimpse into the world of Hull House, Jane Addams and the early European immigrants from this time period and I wasn’t disappointed. The author did a remarkable job of weaving the history into the plot without overwhelming or being too stingy with details. Not a typical historic romance with a lot of lusty sex scenes. There aren’t any so if that’s what you’re looking for you won’t find it here. There is a wonderful love story minus the sex. At first I thought the love story was secondary to the main plot, but actually it ties into it beautifully. I’d like go into more detail on that, but I’d have to include spoilers to do that and I’m not going to.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book where I was intrigued by almost every character. Hasley has a way of creating characters so beautifully flawed and interesting, you feel you just have to know what will happen to them. I loved the immigrant girl with the lovely soprano voice, Petra. But to be honest, she was the least interesting to me because she seemed a little too good to be realistic. But she was adorable all the same. From the first I didn’t like Douglas Gallagher much, but he was one my favorite characters. I found him fascinating, mysterious and a little slimy. My feelings about him held true to the end of the story.
Where Home Is–much more than a romance. It’s a story of human nature at it’s worst and it’s finest. It showcases the contrast between the poor, working class, immigrant community and the opulence of the wealthy socialites of Chicago’s 1910. It’s a story of one woman’s search for her true self. A story of home and what that means to Katherine, as well as to each of us as individuals. It made me laugh out loud and brought me to tears on more than one occasion. And I’d like to thank Karen J. Hasley for writing a story that gave me so much pleasure.