Thursday, January 31, 2019

Book Review: 'Home Everywhere' by Megan McNamer

Home Everywhere by Megan McNamer

“Modest garb was required for visiting the temple of the Jade Buddha.’

Montana author Megan McNamer studied music at the University of Montana and ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. CHILDREN AND LUNATICS, her first novel, won the Black Lawrence Press Big Moose Prize for 2015. Megan’s work appears in Salon, Sports Illustrated, The Sun, Tropic Magazine (of The Miami Herald), Islands Magazine, and a number of anthologies. HOME EVERYWHERE is her second novel. She lives in Missoula, Montana.

Megan's writing manner captures the reader’s attention immediately, not only because it is served in bite sized pieces but in the manner in which she describes the 21st century as new and fragile, the center barely holding. In a Pilgrim’s Progress manner she introduces us to an odd assortment of tourists who seek fulfillment of fantasies – but on a budget. Yes, the use of the social media advertisements are part of the dream scheme and the various manners in which the characters react to the odd escape trip register as desires for escape from today and from home bases make for a fascinating kaleidoscope of a novel. 

Megan describes these journeys well – ‘the tourists fixate on the actions and trappings of being alive. They seek spiritual salvation, physical healing, alluring accessories, and good bargains. Soon their sacred places emerge as elusive versions of home. Private sorrows persist. The daily itinerary holds hints of escape, but in the end, gravity prevails, and they head back to normal life, hopes unrealized and undiminished, their secret dreams following in the jet stream.’

Megan views contemporary life as we are living it and sheds light on the expectations of being ‘here’ and not ‘there’ and how dreams and desires sought in strange places are more confined to home than we realize. She is writing about us and we need to heed her words. More wisdom from an enlightened author. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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