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Go Away Home Paperback – July 1, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 164 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


***GO AWAY HOME is the 2014 Readers' Favorite Silver Medal winner in Historical Fiction - Personage***

Go Away Home is the perfect story of coming home. If you've ever had bigger dreams than your current circumstances allow then you know exactly how Liddie feels living on a farm and dreaming of the big city. Excellent characters and an extremely realistic plot made this a great book that I know I will be reading again. --Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite

Go Away Home is all about: evolution, change, and transition points ... the atmosphere of the heartland, of family ties, and of new opportunities permeate this tale of choices, dreams realized and rejected, and how values evolve ... As a coming of age novel, Go Away Home holds more complexity than most, making it a recommendation for mature teens as well as adult readers who will find it gently compelling and highly believable." --D. Donovan, reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Go Away Home is a coming-of-age novel that is well-written, compelling, and endearing. There is a strong sense of place, excellent character development, and an engaging plot line. I highly recommend Carol Bodensteiner's new novel. -- Kara Logsden, Iowa City Public Library

I couldn't put Go Away Home down. With 40+ pages to go at my bedtime, Liddie won out. I learned so much about life in rural Iowa back then; I came to care so much about Liddie and her extended family; I appreciated Bodensteiner's ability to show -- including showing Fred through his absence. No wonder Go Away Home already garnered an award. -- Mary Kay Shanley, author of She Taught Me To Eat Artichokes

About the Author

Carol Bodensteiner is a writer who finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. She published her memoir GROWING UP COUNTRY in 2008. She has had essays published in several anthologies. GO AWAY HOME is her debut novel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Rising Sun Press; First edition (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979799759
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979799754
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,695,070 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Go Away Home is an invitation to step back in time to the early 1900’s and experience life through the eyes of a young Iowan farm girl whose dreams of finding a career and moving away from the family farm are lost and found.

The story swept me in in the first chapter with Liddie Treadwell contemplating life away from the farm as she kneads bread in her kitchen. We are introduced to her Aunt Kate who represents an independent woman of her time. She serves as a role model for Liddie. When Liddie’s older sister, Amelia moves away, Liddie feels doomed to farm life and never seeing her dreams of a career come true.

Much like she did with her memoir, Growing Up Country, Bodensteiner brings her characters alive in a believable, balanced way as she shows us the love and resiliency of her family in their day-to-day lives. Her family is able to support Liddie in achieving her dream of living on her own in a big city as a seamstress and eventually a photographer. She meets a young man who teaches her about photography and asks her to marry him and travel to Paris to help him set up a studio. She ultimately finds her dreams have changed and makes a decision based upon what she wants.

This is a poignant and heartwarming novel set against the historical backdrop of the beginning of World War I, the suffragette movement and the Spanish Influenza. We experience how loss affected families during these times as well as how it affected the Treadwell family. It is evident that Bodensteiner took great care to do thorough research. As a reader, I trusted the historical accuracy of these details.

The author’s writing style is engaging and concise. I found myself totally immersed in the lives of the characters and in the story.
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Format: Paperback
3.5 stars
I wanted to love this book, I really did. Historical fiction is my favorite genre so I was excited to read this.

I will premise this by saying that to me this book felt more like a historical romance novel which is not my cup of tea, so that could be why it wasn't my favorite.

There were a few things I would have liked to improve the book- one is more description of the setting. Perhaps this was done intentionally so the reader could use imagination, but for a historical work I want descriptive details that will help me to visualize the farm house, the town, the land. I felt this was lacking.

I also felt as if the other characters, aside from Liddie, could have used some more development. I could picture them a little bit but not quite enough to feel like I really knew them.

I did like the book enough to finish it and I would recommend it to someone who enjoys the historical romance genre.

I received an advanced reading copy of the book on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.
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Format: Paperback
Even though this is not my preferred genre, I am so glad I was given an opportunity to read it.

Few books lead me in to the story being conveyed in such a way that, when I'm finished with the book, I don't want to read another for quite some time. I want to take time to remember the characters, cherish the lives they've lived, and absorb the memories they've created as if I had known them personally and have been made a better person for it. I am afraid to overwrite the characters in my mind, their memories, the feelings they've elicited, the spirit they've occupied within the pages. This is one of those books.

I've lived within this story, even as it kept me up way past my bedtime just to be with the characters. Only one time did something written take me half out of the story to ponder a word choice, but I was back in within seconds.

Carol Bodensteiner, thank you so much for sharing this story in the way that you did.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Starting this book on a summer evening with the intent to read just a couple hours, I found myself up well beyond my l0:30 p.m. "after the news" bedtime. The story line immediately grabbed my attention. The life situation and longings faced by Liddie, the protagonist, were not that much different from any young woman's. What do I dream for my life? How can I make that dream come true? What is standing in the way? I wanted to know, so my time was happily engaged.

Although the constraints of this era presented unique challenges, i.e, the view that young women should stay home and take care of their nuclear family's needs before going off and exploring the world, many were not all that much different from today. A father dies. A sister becomes pregnant and leaves home. A mother needs support. What is Liddie to do? Where do her responsibilities lie?

LIddie's persistence and courage move us ahead and kept me reading. This is a remarkable young woman and I wanted to know what was going to happen when she stepped out and took a risk.

This is a coming-of-age story but it's much more than that. I found the richly textured scenes describing her life as a seamstress and later as a photographer absorbing. The author has done her homework, about these ways of making a living, but also about what life on a farm entails. This is a historical novel in the best way--creating authentic and fascinating settings while focusing on plot and character development.

I could easily read more. A sequel? Is Liddie ultimately happy about the choices she makes? What regrets, if any, does she have? What happens when she honors her dream, while paying due attention to where her heart is leading?
These universal questions will intrigue any reader, regardless of background or culture. The book provides many hints and clues and invites the reader to imagine the rest.
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