Friday, June 21, 2013

Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt

Homecoming and Dicey's Song by Cynthia Voigt are some of my childhood favorites.

Dicey, James, Maybeth, and Sammy Tillerman's momma left them in the car while she went into a shopping mall. They were on their way from Provincetown, Massachusetts to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to stay with a relative. But the hours passed, and Momma never came back. Dicey knew that she had to do something -- something to keep the family together. If she went to the police, would they be split up and sent to foster homes? It was a risk she didn't want to take. So, Dicey and her younger siblings set out on the long walk to Bridgeport, hoping that Momma would somehow find her way there. But even Bridgeport may not be the home they had hoped for, and their journey might take them even further away, to Crisfield, Maryland, and the grandmother they didn't even know they had.

That's the story of Homecoming: how brave, resourceful Dicey, brainy James, sweet Maybeth, and stubborn Sammy make their way to a place that they all can call home. In Dicey's Song, the children are learning their way in a new place, and it's not an easy transition for any of them. And then, of course, there's Momma, who is at a hospital far away in New England, who may never get better. Dicey and her siblings have found a home, but now they have to find a way to be, to belong.

I've loved these books for years. The story of the Tillerman family is so rich, so bittersweet. Voigt just nails it on so many levels: the interactions between the characters, the way she describes the hardships of the journey without ever making the story drag, the descriptions of food and music and simple pleasures. These are books that I can revisit again and again.

(Reviewed from my personally purchased copies.)


  1. I, too, loved these, but I can't get any of my readers to check them out. They are rather long; I'll give it another try in the fall. I have kept them all!

    1. I think my current library may have weeded them all out already; they are a bit of a hard sell, and I think they might feel pretty dated to kids reading them today. I can't remember anyone recommending them to me or anything -- I think I just discovered them on my own. But then, I pretty much went through the library (the juvenile fiction section, at least) row by row, growing up.