In her poignant yet gritty first novel, HOME ANOTHER WAY, Christa Parrish tells the moving story of one woman’s healing from the scars of her past.
Parrish sets her saga in the hardscrabble mountain town of Jonah, New York, where the tough-as-nails divorcée Sarah Graham reluctantly goes to claim her inheritance. It is left to her by her now-deceased, estranged father, who she was told murdered her mother when she was a baby. Broke, exhausted and out of options, Sarah is forced to accept the terms of her father’s will. She must live in his simple house in Jonah for six months, after which she’ll receive $80,000.
Angry and frustrated, Sarah feels trapped. Sleeping with any man who’s handy is the only way Sarah has been able to shut off the pain she feels. In Jonah, her options are limited. Her rudeness rebuffs the townspeople, who inexplicably revere the memory of her father. Bored, she takes a part-time job checking in on Doc White’s patients in the mountains, many mired in poverty and ignorance. As she gets to know some of the proud mountain people, her barriers start to break down. It’s only the beginning. When Sarah finds and begins playing her father’s old violin, more fissures form in her protective shell. A poverty-stricken, middle-aged and obese woman named Memory, who serves as one “wise sage,” tells Sarah, “I know you been trying real hard not to get close to no one. But things ain’t always up to you, and sometimes you don’t got no choice in the matter.”
What sets Parrish’s novel apart are her beguiling descriptions and careful word choices. “It took me by complete surprise, how Memory and I had knotted ourselves together, one Sunday at a time one argument at a time --- knit one, purl two --- until we’d tangled ourselves into some ugly granny-square afghan, with misshapen edges and dropped stitches throughout.” Beautifully said. Parrish knows how to give her readers just enough background information about