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Showing 1-10 of 25 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 83 reviews
on October 31, 2005
Courtesy of CK2S Kwips and Kritiques

Dianne Robbins has had a rough life but has never given up. While pregnant, she was abandoned by her husband when they discovered the baby was severely handicapped and unlikely to ever have a normal life. Tim couldn't handle it and took off, leaving Dianne to pick up the pieces of her broken love.

Now, ten years later, Julia, her daughter, is still struggling through her life, with the help of Dianne, Dianne's mother Lucinda, and Juia's uncle and doctor, Alan, who is Dianne's former brother in law.

When Alan brings a young troubled girl, Amy into Dianne's life she finds that she has more love to share then imagined. Will she now open her heart to Alan, the man who has loved her silently and patiently, through it all?

This is a beautiful story of love lost, love found, and all the kinds of love a person can share. Listeners will feel the emotions along with Dianne and company, and come to know these people as friends.

Dianne is a strong woman who stands tough through all the blows life has dealt her, never giving up on her daughter, and never regretting the life she could have had if not for Julia. In Amy, she finds another outlet for the love she has to give, which brightens the young girl's heart and soul, giving her the peace and affection she can't find in her own home. Alan is steadfast in his devotion to Dianne and Julia, never quite hoping, but never giving up either, on the possibility of a deep soul-stirring love with Dianne.

The closing of the book, told from a different perspective from the rest of the story, adds a sweet touch. Some readers my find it unnecessary and too sappy, but I thought it was the perfect way to end the story.
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on August 6, 2006
The most impressive thing about Luanne Rice's writing lies in her ability to tell a lovely, poignant story using characters you feel you have met somewhere before. In "Follow the Stars Home," a realistic human situation provides the opportunity for the author to take a look at love from several perspectives.

Dianne Robbins, initially attracted to Alan, a charming and upstanding young doctor, is wooed away by his brother, Tim, who is battling his own personal demons. Dianne falls into the common trap of thinking she can save a man by marrying and loving him and chooses Tim over Alan. Tim ends up breaking her heart by leaving her pregnant with their severely handicapped child. Wary of men, she spends the next eleven years lavishing her tremendous capacity to love on her handicapped daughter, Julia. All this time, Alan, who has secretly loved her, has maintained a steadfast devotion to Dianne and Julia and has become their guardian angel.

In an effort to help both Diane and Amy, a troubled young girl, Alan brings Amy into Diane's life to assist with Julia. This placement ends up being positive for everyone involved and allows the author to explore another facet of the healing power of love. I found this story beautiful and honest and not sappy at all until the author decided to write that atrocious ending.

This brings me to my criticisms of this book, mostly in the area of mechanics:

Luanne Rice doesn't appear to trust her readers' intelligence. This is the only reason I can think of that she would repeat descriptions almost verbatim throughout her book. This is terribly annoying and distracts from the story. How much more satisfying to read a description ONCE then be shown in the remainder of the book how these initial descriptions affect the behavior and/or perceptions of this character by others.

I have seen this next problem in other well-known authors--Research. What is wrong with basic research? The constellation Orion figures heavily in this book. It would seem to me that with a couple of clicks of the mouse on the Internet, she could manage to find out that Stella the cat could not be sitting at a window looking up at Orion in the summer as Orion is visible at night in North America only between December and March.

My biggest problem, however, is with the ending. It was designed to preach at us--making certain we understand once and for all that Julia is a fully sentient human being. Rice did a far, far better job with this objective by developing it slowly over the course of the book. We see Julia through Amy's eyes. Despite her rough edges, Amy is kind and caring and not willing to accept the limitations even Diane sees in her daughter. Diane's love for her daughter is tenderness bordering on desperation. Amy, however, helps us to validate Julia as a fully realized person because she validates her. We did not need the spiel at the end. It did not tie up any loose ends since nearly all of the information had been given out earlier and Julia's comments do nothing to assure us of Amy and Diane's full recovery or the fate of Amy's mother, which would be new information at this point. It would have been much easier to swallow this tell-not-show summary if it was written as Julia's reminiscences of perhaps a year later following the patients' recovery and the subsequent wedding and life in the new house. This is a great story not managed as well as it could have been, but still worth reading.
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on April 19, 2017
I love Luanne Rice.
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on May 16, 2014
I had seen the made for TV movie several times and wanted to read the book. Often there are major differences between the two and you hardly recognize them as being the same title. In this case, there are some differences, but the basic story and theme is identical. Excellent, easy read that is multi-faceted and keeps your interest.
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on July 4, 2016
As with all of Luanne Rice's books, you become invested in the characters and their story. I saw the movie before reading the book, but there are enough differences to keep me reading.
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on December 18, 2016
This is my favorite book. I had a handicapped daughter who passed away at the age of 16. The little girl in this story reminds me of her.
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on January 13, 2014
Acclaimed novelist Luanne Rice "touches the deepest, most tender corners of the heart" (Tami Hoag, author of A Thin Dark Line). Her stories remind us how precious and fragile life can be—and that we must risk our hearts every day to know happiness. Follow the Stars Home is just such a novel: a story of poignancy and heartbreak, grace and courage.
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on October 12, 2016
I loved Luanne Rice, she writes such a wonderful love will really enjoy this book...
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on September 26, 2014
The book was every bit as good as the movie made from it. More detail than the movie, but that is to be expected. I really liked it. The seller was great also. the book arrived long before expected. thank you.
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on May 30, 2010
I enjoyed a lot of this book. This is the first Luanne Rice book I have read, so I cannot compare it to her other works. I had watched the movie first and was excited to find out that it was based on a book. The book, for the most part, was good. The characters were well developed and the book explains the back story of the main characters a lot more than the movie does. The reader can understand more why Tim leaves (even though by no means does anyone root for him) because his character is developed. There is a lot of crying in this book, which I don't really like, but that is understandable since each of the characters have lived very hard lives. The reason I am giving this review 3 stars is because there is a fair amount of profanity, which I do not appreciate. There are also three sex scenes which, even though Luann Rice does not get into graphic detail, were still too drawn out. I am married, but I still did not appreciate this otherwise good story being damaged with sexual references. Also, and unfortunately, the ending was weak. There were just too many questions. Ms. Rice hinted at what would happen, but she did not write about the accounts. A final chapter or even an epilogue would have been better. It just ended rather abruptly with the reader looking to the next page to hopefully find more (and instead being disappointed). The movie ended the story much better.
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