Named a best novel of the year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the St. Louis Dispatch, Slow Way Home is "timely as much as it is touching", says the Dallas Morning News.
Wise beyond his years, Brandon understands he's the only one in this world he can count on. It's an outlook that serves him well the day his mama leaves him behind at the Raleigh bus station and sets off to Canada with "her destiny" - the latest man that she hopes will bring her happiness. The day his mother leaves, Brandon takes the first step toward shaping his own destiny. Soon, he finds himself spending pleasant days playing with his cousins on his grandparents' farm and trying to forget the past. In the safety of that place, Brandon finally is able to trust the love of an adult.
But when Sophie Willard shows up a year later with a determined look in her eye and a new man in tow, Brandon's grandparents ignore a judge's ruling and flee the state with Brandon. Creating a new life and identity in a small Florida town, Brandon meets the people who will fill him with self-worth and self-respect. He slowly becomes involved with "God's Hospital", a church run by the gregarious Sister Delores, a woman who is committed to a life of service for all members of the community, black and white, regardless of some townsfolk's disapproval.
Slow Way Home is a tender yet completely unsentimental tale of survival, triumph, and redemption. Listeners will be gripped by its pitch-perfect evocation of the South in the 1970s, when the gains of the Civil Rights Movement were still tested at every turn.
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Tender and True
I have already recommended this to several friends because I wanted them to feel what I felt while reading this story and the messages it has to offer; messages of family, courage, patience and acceptance.
I loved the tenderness of the story. I love the fight in Brandon; the fact he accepted his fate and tried to always make the best of it even when he just couldn't, and because he discovered that he needed to just count on himself, I loved pulling for Brandon all the way through the epilogue. I loved that he made it home.
Michel Butler Murray's tone and pace were just right for this story. His connection to the story sounded genuine and made me fall in love with little Brandon.
Brandon's patience and his acceptance of how his world seems to be playing him give truth to the fact that even in today's youth one must grow up before they are ready. Brandon does a fine job trying to balance between being the adult in one household and the child in the other.