Review of ‘Welcome Home, Bailey’ by Hope Milam
Wild-living Bailey Cooper returns to her hometown to attend a wedding. But it’s not what you think. Yes, she’s a big rock star who’s been leading an affluent life far removed from her working-class digs but she’s never lost touch with anyone. She’s still very close to the old crew of cousins and school friends. I appreciate that the author did not follow the well-worn trope of the prodigal daughter finally coming home after 20 years, etc.
Instead, this story is more complex, it’s about reaching an endpoint in your life, taking stock, and deciding what comes next. Bailey is 42 years old and basically done with the rambling musician’s life. She wonders if she and her schoolgirl crush, Beth, finally have their timing right and can make a permanent commitment. There’s also the ugly baggage with her mother that’s long been festering and needs to be addressed.
As with many big families, there’s much diversity here and not everyone is happy about it. But Bailey is finally ready to confront the messiness of familial love and its secrets.
The beginning is a little slow as everyone is being introduced which I feel the author did not need because her story gave us the characters. On the other hand, I thought the ending was rushed. After such intense emotional dynamics, I wanted the author to give us more to close the story. I would have gladly read a few more chapters.
Overall, I’m giving 4 stars and kudos to an author who is intent on building good characters. The effort showed.
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.