"Coming Home to You" by Liesel Schmidt

Twenty-four-year-old Zoë is looking forward to the future now that she is engaged to her fiancé Paul.  Her whole life is ahead of her and she couldn’t be happier.  Until Paul dies suddenly and her life is thrown into a tailspin.

For months Zoë removes herself from life, wondering if she’ll ever be able to move on.  And when a friend asks her to housesit for a stranger, it’s the last thing she wants to do.  But her best friend convinces her that what she needs is to get away from the memories that are haunting her and this could be her fresh start.  

When Zoë moves into Neil’s home, she finds herself thrown into the life of a stranger.  She builds a picture of the man she has never met based on his belongings and begins writing a diary sharing her thoughts and feelings with Neil.  When the opportunity arises to contact with him through email, she finds herself connecting with him on a level she didn’t think she would ever connect on again.  This gives her the confidence to begin again and venture back into the world.  

But when Neil returns home from his military tour, Zoë discovers that things may not be what she thought.  Will this become the beginning of a new life or undo all of the progress she has made?

Coming Home to You, the debut novel from Liesel Schmidt, is a warm and emotional story of a young woman dealing with tragic heartbreak and her struggle to move forward in life.

At the beginning of the novel, I was unsure of what kind of journey this story was going to take me on.  It starts out very emotional and right away you could tell that Schmidt’s writing was going to get the emotion of it spot-on.  It was very easy to fall in love with Zoë and want everything to work out for her.  I was worried that the book would keep an emotional wreck the whole way through.  But Schmidt finds a beautiful balance between the heartbreak and the hope, making this a lovely read.

There is a lot that happens in the book so at times it did feel as though parts of the book were rushed.  I really wanted to read more about the development of Zoë’s business idea.  Toward the end, her relationships could have been given a bit more time.  But there is a lot that needs to get done in the book so it is understandable.   

I enjoyed this book very much.  One Saturday morning I woke up early, picked up the book while the house was still quiet and kept reading until I was finished.   What I really appreciated about it was that it wasn’t a straightforward, everything falls into place story.  One thing we all know for sure is that life is messy and this book shows that.  Even though it starts with unimaginable heartbreak and is a story about things getting better, it isn’t the smooth fairytale you can often get. This is a beautiful story that takes you on a wave of emotion but leaves you feeling uplifted.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher through Netgalley.  The opinions expressed above are my own.


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