“Somebody’s Home”

The charming house in the quiet suburbs is really a hot mess of secrecy, desperation, and chaos.

 “Somebody’s Home” unfolds in a first-person narrative that produces tension, confusion and desperation. “Somebody is in my home. I don’t know what to do.” Everything centers on the house; what happened there, who lives there, who no longer lives there, who never lived there, always “the house.” The narrative alternates among multiple characters and goes back in time so readers learn how people got the “the house” and how they feel about living in it and leaving it.

The residents of the house, both past and present, are diverse. Readers come to know a lot about them, their hopes, their plans, and their struggles to balance the darkness and the light. They are all just living their lives day by day, whining and complaining about everything, but they become incrementally deceptive, manipulative, and evil. The house, however, knows their real stories, the things they want hidden. Then, things become even worse, and this time it makes the news.

Rouda created a complex narrative rich in complexity and moral challenges, one that exposes the superficial and unmasks the hidden. Anyone can tell a lie that has a degree of truth, but reality is different. I received a review copy of “Somebody’s Home” from Kaira Rouda and Thomas & Mercer. It is filled with excesses, anxieties, egos, and conundrums.