The Road Home by Susan Crandall takes readers back to the fictional town of Glen’s Crossing, Indiana. It is the story of recently divorced Lily Holt, and her struggle to reach her teen-aged son Riley. The divorce has hit Riley in a strongly negative way, and Lily is hopeful that by returning to her roots and small-town life style that she will be able to reach Riley, and bring him back from the cliff that he’s about to fall over.
Unfortunately it doesn’t take long for Riley to get in trouble in Glen’s Lake. He sinks a boat belonging to one of the “summer people”. The punishment decided upon is that Riley will work at the Marina with “Bud” until restitution for the boat has been made. Working at the marina is not easy, and for the pampered Riley is harder than it might have been for someone more accustomed to having to work for what they want.
Lily doesn’t like the way Riley comes home from his first day at the marina, and goes straight to her protecting her cub mode. This brings her into confrontation with Bud. She’s shocked to learn that Bud is not the same person who ran the marina when she left Glen’s Crossing, but instead her first love Clay. Lily and Clay had sparks when they were young, and those sparks are still there, but are they the same?
Throughout The Road Home Lily thinks that things should be basically the same in Glen’s Crossing as when she left. She finds that the fabric of the small town has changed, but in its own way has stayed much the same as when she left. There are several major incidents in the book that force changes in Lily and those that she knows.
Ms. Crandall has again written a book that makes readers yearn for the small town lifestyle. I do however have to admit to being disappointed, because I thought we would revisit characters from Back Roads, and they weren’t in The Road Home at all. Should Ms. Crandall continue to write books set in Glen’s Crossing, I would hope that she would eventually revisit some of her previously-introduced residents.