When I saw the monthly book reviewers’ email from Tyndale Publishers advertising all of the new books they had available for review, I almost didn’t open it.
“I’m way too busy to commit to reviewing any books right now,” I reasoned. But something (or should I say Someone?) prompted me to open the email, and my eye caught the title, Almost There: Searching for Home in a Life on the Move, by Bekah di Felice. (Don’t you just love the title and the cover?)
Although I’d never heard of the author before, the description sounded all too familiar — because she was telling a story I knew inside out.
I hesitated again, fearing I wouldn’t have time to read and review the book within the time frame requested. But again, Someone prompted me to click “request” … and I’m so glad I did.
Bekah’s book, Almost There, is full of rich insights on the universal longing for home.
Right after college, Bekah married into the transient military life. She describes the complex emotions of leaving home, including the spiritual component: “It’s as if the act of leaving is part of the equipping, as if God personally leads people out of familiar territory so he can tell them who they are.”
In her book, Bekah shares the ups and downs of moving frequently and living in vastly different parts of the United States. She is honest about the challenges of her husband’s deployment: the loneliness, the awkwardness of limited communication, the surprising realization of established independence, and the adjustment back to a new normal after reunion.
With conversational tone and an easy sense of humor, Bekah tucks nuggets of wisdom into the telling of her story.
“The timing is different for everyone … but it happens: Your sense of belonging outgrows its previous residence. …In the search for home, we all try on different places and relationships and hobbies that make us feel pretty, all along lamenting the fact that belonging refuses to be nailed down to exact coordinates. It denies us permanence. And that feels like betrayal.
I think that by nature we are agitated by this restlessness, by the enigma of belonging. We’re pestered by the notion that people and places and things are all important pieces of home but not the whole thing, at least not in themselves. Deep down we know there is a permanence of home that exists somewhere. There is a whisper of eternity that beckons in the heart of every one of us.”
The above quote perfectly captures what I hope to articulate through my upcoming memoir, A Place to Land: A Story of Longing and Belonging. And I’d venture a guess that you can relate, too.
Again, Bekah captured the struggle in my heart with these words:
“Home doesn’t begin or end with a mailing address or a change in surname. I don’t think it is ever a total reboot. It is more of an ellipsis than a period, a continuation rather than a conclusion. It tends to be an ongoing list of people and places and experiences that have mattered, that have changed us in one way or another. It is an echo of the good legacies we have witnessed.
In fact, home is a lot like a poorly, categorized box containing all sorts of odds and ends: the surprising and familiar, the old and new, the bitter and sweet. It is mismatched in so many ways–not a start and end but an overlap, a tangle. We move away from it and bring it with us still.”
Besides making me think deeply about concepts of home and belonging, Almost There also made me laugh and nod my head in agreement on numerous occasions.
If you’re looking for a light read that will also make you think and relate, I can highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links have been used in this post.