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This House is a Home
By Philip Nork
2014
Reviewed by Angie Mangino
Rating: 4 stars
 
In chapter one, readers meet the protagonist, Peter Jacob Borden, Jr. when his son Peter the third, just starting high school, gets a history assignment to do a family tree with a report on his ancestors.  It brings the elder Peter back to his own freshman days in high school when assigned a similar report, thinking his might be in his mother’s attic.
 
Going to his mother’s house that Saturday, the two are greeted with her remembering the report.
 
“It read like a book and brought back many memories of when I was growing up and some surprisingly new things I never knew about.”
 
When it was found in the attic, the protagonist is transported out of the year 2013 back to 1973, the summer he began the report.
 
Chapter two brings readers back to 1973, too, beginning the journey to Stiritz, Illinois: a coal mining town, the origin of the Senger family, and a world of its own not touched by the progress of the seventies.
 

What follows is an exceptional story of family, and a brilliant understanding of the lives of coal miners.  The dialogue is down-to-earth in its realistic tone, allowing readers to travel with Peter as a boy, hearing what he’s hearing, as the family shares their history with him.  More importantly, readers will discover, as Peter did, what is really important for a happy life.