Where books are chronicled from beginning to end, and never stop being read.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

This Year At Home: A Short Story

This Year At Home is a much appreciated follow-up short story to Next Year in Israel, by Sarah Bridgeton.
This Year At Home: A Short Story by Sarah Bridgeton
I quite enjoyed Next Year In Israel, and I can't convey my absolute joy that the author wrote a story giving closure to, the main character, Rebecca. 

Though I would have been happy with my own machinations of Rebecca charging into her old life with spiteful retaliation, it really wouldn't have done the story justice. Besides the fact that such behavior would not be in line with the character, I don't think I could have done better than the author at providing Rebecca with her own sense of poetic justice.

After dealing with issues of ceaseless bullying, suicide, depression and the inability to cope, Rebecca was given time to heal in Israel. She realized an important fact that she had forgotten as a child, or perhaps lost out of sheer despair, she could fight back. Allowing others to devalue her had led to her own humiliating and heartbreaking situation.

In This Year At Home, the story has come full circle. Rebecca is no longer filling the spot of the frightened, shaking, intolerable mess of a child that she had been reduced to. She has returned a mature, brave, and more thoughtful young woman. She faces her deepest fears and no longer tolerates mistreatment from her tormentors. As such, she faces off with Derrick and deals with the consequences. Personally, I felt an immense pride for Rebecca when she chose to do the right thing, though it wasn't the easier option.

The story was a stirring revelation of acknowledgment. Yes, Rebecca is still a teenager and though she comes back changed, there will be other issues that come up in her life. And yes, she gains her own freedom by standing up for herself and taking responsibility for her own actions. But, This Year At Home, is so much more than a simple story of a girl stepping out of her cocoon and emerging as a young woman.

Rebecca's own development affects everyone around her. From an old friend to a new budding love interest, her strength has touched a cord within every individual. It seems as if her impregnable spirit has even lent courage to her parents as they attempt to rebuild their own relationship. Her mother has genuine desire to reconnect with Rebecca and to heal what bonds were strained, if not broken. 

Bullying is a serious issue. It is absolutely debilitating and when the full force of it is consistently wielded on a young, impressionable mind, the person is not always able to cope in the most healthiest of ways. I'm glad that Sarah Bridgeton chose to shine a bright light on an old, yet nonetheless, eviscerating proclivity often effecting our younger generation. 

No one should turn a blind eye. Everyone is responsible. 

This short story is a quick read, but the impact is huge and will remain with the reader. I highly recommend both Next Year In Israel and This Year At Home, but either book will stand alone on it's own merits.


  1. Thanks for the reveiw! I'm glad you enjoyed the story. Writing it was an emotional experience that will stay with me forever.

  2. Hi Sarah! As a reader, I can assure you that your feelings were conveyed, it was beautiful and touching. Thank you for allowing me to review the second story!