Review of ‘Far from home’ by Lorelie Brown,
Audiobook narrated by Jill Smith
On the surface, this is a story about a sham marriage between Rachel, an American citizen with a hefty student loan debt, and Pari, an Indian woman in need of a green card, who eventually fall in love with each other. But it’s so much more. The story, written in first person from Rachel’s point of view, submerges the reader into her world of insecurities, low self-esteem and her struggle with anorexia.
Written in present tense, it resembles to a diary or a chronicle of Rachel’s struggle. The reader gets into her head and it’s impossible not to suffer for her in the process. Despite this point of view centered in Rachel, the author describes Pari thoroughly and it’s very interesting to see the culture clash between them. In that sense, the secondary characters, specially Pari’s family, offer a multi-dimension and richness to the story so it doesn’t only navigate in Rachel’s issues.
I’ve read this book in 2016 and I still remember how much I liked it but I have to say that the audio version brings this story into life superbly. I haven’t heard any other books by this narrator but I’ll be happy to listen to more as she couldn’t narrate this one any better. To start with, Ms. Smith got the voices of the different characters perfectly, they are all distinctive and recognisable. Her performance of the different accents was spot-on too, especially Pari’s and her family, all of Indian heritage. Every single character is believable and the story flows very well.
There are a few parts which are very emotional in this book, Rachel’s fight with anorexia, Pari’s relationship with her family, and both characters’ connection with each other. The author takes us through a gamut of feelings and Ms. Smith got them all just right. For me, the narration made the book so much better that it amplified my overall enjoyment. All in all, it’s a very recommendable read if you want a great romance with more substance than the average. It’s less than 6 hours length, but it’s money well spent.
Overall, an excellent lesbian romance audiobook. 5 stars.