Larkin is discharged from the Army after a suicide attempt. Her family warmly welcomes “soldier girl” home, but there is no peace or healing, knowing she is responsible for the death of her best friend and a youngster she had befriended in Afghanistan.
One pinpoint of light for Larkin is the discovery of a very old family diary, tucked in an inheritance.
In 1861 believing the war will soon end, patriots from Stampers Creek are quick to volunteer for the Union Army’s 9th Indiana Infantry.
When someone in her family does not return, Emily disguises herself as a man and enlists with her brother. A diary, with hidden compartment, is a parting gift from her father, and it becomes her one constant possession through the journey from home, training, maintaining her male status and battle. If discovered, she could be jailed, hanged as a spy, or sent home in disgrace, but the freedom of choice and belief in what she was doing was worth the risk.
The parallel stores in Today We Go Home kept me energized. Each “soldier girl” questions her choices, her values, and her prospects. More than 150 years later, many issues that challenged Emily still face Larkin.
There is so much here for Book Club discussion and personal contemplation. “Thank you for your service” is not just a polite comment.
–Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA
You can get signed copies from Vintage Books (while supplies last). Since Estes is a local PNW author (Seattle area), her books are on many local bookstore shelves! Meet the author at one of her upcoming events in the region.