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All the Children Are Home

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A sweeping saga in the vein of Ask Again, Yes following a foster family through almost a decade of dazzling triumph and wrenching heartbreak—from the author of The Orphans at Race Point. Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family—Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster ch A sweeping saga in the vein of Ask Again, Yes following a foster family through almost a decade of dazzling triumph and wrenching heartbreak—from the author of The Orphans at Race Point. Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family—Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon—and the irrevocable changes in their lives when a six-year-old indigenous girl, Agnes, is comes to live with them.. When Dahlia decided to become a foster mother, she had a few caveats: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident years before left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl’s life. Eleven years after they began fostering, the Moscatellis are raising three children as their own and Dahlia and Louie consider their family complete, but when the social worker begs them to take a young girl who has been horrifically abused and neglected, they can’t say no. Six-year-old Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her Native American heritage or herself beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother and dreamlike memories of her sister. Before long, this stranger in their midst has strengthened the bond in this unusual family, showing them how to contend with outside forces that want to tear them apart. Heartfelt and enthralling, All the Children Are Home is a moving testament to how love can survive in the face of devastating losses.


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A sweeping saga in the vein of Ask Again, Yes following a foster family through almost a decade of dazzling triumph and wrenching heartbreak—from the author of The Orphans at Race Point. Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family—Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster ch A sweeping saga in the vein of Ask Again, Yes following a foster family through almost a decade of dazzling triumph and wrenching heartbreak—from the author of The Orphans at Race Point. Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family—Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon—and the irrevocable changes in their lives when a six-year-old indigenous girl, Agnes, is comes to live with them.. When Dahlia decided to become a foster mother, she had a few caveats: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident years before left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl’s life. Eleven years after they began fostering, the Moscatellis are raising three children as their own and Dahlia and Louie consider their family complete, but when the social worker begs them to take a young girl who has been horrifically abused and neglected, they can’t say no. Six-year-old Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her Native American heritage or herself beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother and dreamlike memories of her sister. Before long, this stranger in their midst has strengthened the bond in this unusual family, showing them how to contend with outside forces that want to tear them apart. Heartfelt and enthralling, All the Children Are Home is a moving testament to how love can survive in the face of devastating losses.

30 review for All the Children Are Home

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    This is one of the most affecting books I’ve read in a long while, striking every emotional chord. There are tragic circumstances in the lives of the characters that broke my heart . Unbearable things happened to them that made me angry and sad. I don’t remember how many times I cried. It was impossible not to feel that way for the foster children at the center of this story. Yet, it was impossible not to feel heartened, in spite of it all because everything became a little more bearable by the This is one of the most affecting books I’ve read in a long while, striking every emotional chord. There are tragic circumstances in the lives of the characters that broke my heart . Unbearable things happened to them that made me angry and sad. I don’t remember how many times I cried. It was impossible not to feel that way for the foster children at the center of this story. Yet, it was impossible not to feel heartened, in spite of it all because everything became a little more bearable by the genuine love in this family. The saddest thing is that while this is fiction, I suspect that this is a story that represents circumstances that could be real . The narrative alternates between three of the children and their foster mother Dahlia. They talk about themselves, their lives before coming to the Moscatellis and each other . I came to know each of them as their present and past stories collide in an intimate and introspective way growing up in this Massachusetts town in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I couldn’t decide who was my favorite character. At first I thought it might be six year old Agnes, a part Native American little girl, who comes to the family as an emergency case after a horrific experience at a foster home and with more sorrow than you can imagine in her young life. I thought it might be Jimmy, the oldest boy, abandoned by his alcoholic parents. He was the first to tell Agnes he loved her and we discover just how far he will go to protect her setting the stage for more heartache. I thought it might be Zaidie, who’s father abandons the family before her mother dies. She takes Agnes under her wing and is truly a big sister, making a sacrifice that will break your heart. I thought it might be Dahlia, who they call Ma, who herself is in so much pain and in need of healing after a horrific event in her life that has stolen her desire to leave her home for 29 years. I thought it might be Louie, the Dad, a hulk of a man, sometimes quiet and gruff, with a big heart, who goes to work day after day at the garage to fix cars. Truth of the matter is I loved them all. This is a love story of beautiful relationships which reflect what these kids meant to each other, how they cared for each other and how these ordinary people with burdens in their past have hearts full of love. It’s about how they manage to heal each other as best they can. It’s about unconditional love which provides hope, even in the most difficult of circumstances. It’s beautifully written and is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins through Edelweiss.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

    4+ stars! A slow-moving, quiet, but oh-so-powerful story. This book won’t be for everyone as it’s a very gradual build that quietly speaks to the reader. It takes time and patience but the pay off is well worth it. It is a character driven novel that will sneak up on you and capture your heart. The characters are phenomenal, remarkable, complicated and truly unforgettable! Never have I EVER read a book where I simply cannot choose a favourite character (or two). And this book included a large cast 4+ stars! A slow-moving, quiet, but oh-so-powerful story. This book won’t be for everyone as it’s a very gradual build that quietly speaks to the reader. It takes time and patience but the pay off is well worth it. It is a character driven novel that will sneak up on you and capture your heart. The characters are phenomenal, remarkable, complicated and truly unforgettable! Never have I EVER read a book where I simply cannot choose a favourite character (or two). And this book included a large cast of main characters - Ma, Pa, Nonna, Jimmy, Agnes, Zaida, Jon just to name a few. I honestly loved them ALL equally, but for very different reasons. There were so many layers to these deeply developed characters, their bonds with one another and the story itself that they haven’t left my mind since finishing the book a couple days ago. This story is centred around a foster family working hard to make ends meet. This book taught me many things. I felt for these characters and their personal situations - each and every one of them affected differently by the vulnerable foster children that come and leave the home. My heart broke repeatedly but was also filled with hope and affection for the love and loyalty that grew within the walls of this foster home. The writing is excellent. Powerful in its subtle and quiet manner. The words within these pages are heartwarming and heartbreaking. This book requires the reader to take their time to slowly savour the writing, the powerful story and the beautiful relationships. Thank you to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for the review copy!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Broken children coming from broken families into a broken couple to somehow form a functional family. And it is here where they manage to piece themselves to form a solid, firm and loved place. The tragedies they went through from neglect and abuse. Being given to child services placed in homes who really didn’t want them. Each has their own story to tell. Including the foster mom who had her own share of events that broke her. Taken from each perspective, what it meant to be in a family with sibli Broken children coming from broken families into a broken couple to somehow form a functional family. And it is here where they manage to piece themselves to form a solid, firm and loved place. The tragedies they went through from neglect and abuse. Being given to child services placed in homes who really didn’t want them. Each has their own story to tell. Including the foster mom who had her own share of events that broke her. Taken from each perspective, what it meant to be in a family with siblings like themselves. With Agnes, the 6 year old native, who had a brutal upbringing but still able to open up her little heart and love the most and mend the most. But even when they mould themselves to form a family, the past still haunts each of them and brings back the memories. This is a story that will break your heart then put it back in your chest a little swollen. It’s about reclaiming who you are by not being defined by what happened in the past. It’s the bravery that develops and the support some are fortunate to find; and the fierce protectiveness the siblings develop for each other. It’s the bonds of family love that embrace and overcome the challenges they each face in a “migration of souls”. Francis takes this story to a whole different level with the most memorable characters and family, story lines and development. This makes it to my 5⭐️ Shelf. Amen

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    I am a character fan all the way, and All the Children Are Home is a beautifully-told glimpse into these characters lives, I could just hug it. And I did. Set in the 1950s and 60s in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home is a story of a foster family narrated by both the children and adults at different times. My heart ached with the pain some of the characters experienced, but not long after, my heart would burst with the love I could feel in their genuine hearts and how they interacted with I am a character fan all the way, and All the Children Are Home is a beautifully-told glimpse into these characters lives, I could just hug it. And I did. Set in the 1950s and 60s in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home is a story of a foster family narrated by both the children and adults at different times. My heart ached with the pain some of the characters experienced, but not long after, my heart would burst with the love I could feel in their genuine hearts and how they interacted with each other. Just a few pages into reading this, you know it’s a special, endearing story. The Moscatellis taught me time and again what family is, and I will never forget the experience of reading their story. Apparently I bought another well-loved book by Patry Francis, The Orphans of Race Point, six years ago, and I cannot wait to pick it up! This one publishes tomorrow! I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  5. 4 out of 5

    Libby - On gardening hiatus

    A story about making a family. Dahlia and Louie Moscatellis are raising four foster children like they are their own. Dahlia has been traumatized by something that happened in the past; now she doesn’t leave the house. Louie runs a garage. The children call them Ma and Dad. They’re far from being perfect parents, but it’s obvious they have something to offer the children because when Agnes is moved to another foster home, she keeps running back to the Moscatellis’s house. Patry Francis delves in A story about making a family. Dahlia and Louie Moscatellis are raising four foster children like they are their own. Dahlia has been traumatized by something that happened in the past; now she doesn’t leave the house. Louie runs a garage. The children call them Ma and Dad. They’re far from being perfect parents, but it’s obvious they have something to offer the children because when Agnes is moved to another foster home, she keeps running back to the Moscatellis’s house. Patry Francis delves into each character, sharing what makes them who they are. The children deal with feelings about abandonment and betrayal. The oldest, Jimmy, deals with knowing that his biological Dad is an alcoholic. His Dad’s life casts a long shadow and Jimmy doesn’t know how to get out of his shade. Even the fact that Jimmy resides in a safe and mostly loving home doesn’t alleviate the pain of what he knows about his biological Dad. Agnes is six years old when she comes to the Moscatelliss. Her Native American heritage marks her as different, but her foster sister, Zaidie could care less about that. The warmth that Zaidie extends to Agnes is like a hearthstone on the coldest of nights. She gives Agnes a sense of belonging, of being accepted just as she is. Patry Francis excels in showing what belonging means to Jimmy, Zaidie, and Agnes, and little Jon. Our need for connection is a huge driving force in our lives. Some of us find it in family, or friends, or in social networks like church, clubs, or online. It was both heartbreaking and heartwarming to see these children struggle to find what I think of as a birthright. But it is not a birthright for many. Patry Francis’s prose is not lyrical or overly descriptive. It is straightforward with an occasionally beautiful line. Her strength is in storytelling and in turning over rocks, delving inside to see what’s there. Dahlia and Louie’s imperfections feel authentic, unglossed. This family is living in the real world with all its disappointments and somehow finding the way through. That sounds like the world I live in, sometimes trying to plant flowers on rocky ground, but so hungry for beauty that I’ve forgotten or neglected to cultivate the hardpan soil. Children are great for hardpan soil; their little roots are tenacious. These child characters that turn into young adults within these pages, remind me of flowers that just want to bloom. Meanwhile, the hardpan soil that is Dahlia and her misfortunes fall under the plow of love and tragedy. Everything is not tied up with a neat little bow at the end, but that kind of ending would not have fit this particular story. This ending is one of an expertly skilled author and is strangely satisfying.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    "That's not how it works, Ma," she said. "People don't just beat you once. They come back to do it over and over." Patry Francis gives her readers a glimpse into the jagged realities of unconventional family life in the late 1950's and 1960's. Life begins on uneven ground in a small town in Massachusetts for the Moscatelli family. It's what they've known. It's who they are. Dahlia and Louie set up their home to receive foster children. Although they've stood steadfast with certain lines drawn in t "That's not how it works, Ma," she said. "People don't just beat you once. They come back to do it over and over." Patry Francis gives her readers a glimpse into the jagged realities of unconventional family life in the late 1950's and 1960's. Life begins on uneven ground in a small town in Massachusetts for the Moscatelli family. It's what they've known. It's who they are. Dahlia and Louie set up their home to receive foster children. Although they've stood steadfast with certain lines drawn in the sand, the couple have taken in children from all backgrounds. Some short-term. Some even longer. The system doesn't often bend favorably in one's direction. Presently, the couple have Jimmy who is in middle school. Zaida and her younger brother, Jon, have been with them since their mother died of cancer. The family unit takes on the challenges of the days surviving under criticism from the community who consider this brood to be "less" than the rest of them. But the winds of change will soon be rattling the foundation unannounced. On the doorstep is a social worker hand-in-hand with six year old Agnes Juniper. Agnes....with the beautiful blue black hair and of Native American heritage.....eyes cast downward. Agnes....who fearfully watches out the front window after the social worker leaves looking for signs of a yellow car with foreboding. Agnes....who will profoundly change the dynamics of this family. All the Children Are Home pulls back a bit of the curtain with light falling upon the forgotten children shuffled from home to home with meager belongings stuffed into a paper sack. Just how many times can the human spirit withstand rejection before the fissures set into the soul? Patry Francis takes on subject matter not often brought to light in fiction and perhaps even non-fiction. The telling rests heavy on the heart where breathing comes in ragged spurts. She holds nothing back. And in this mixture of a coldly ladled stew are also moments of unexpected triumphs. There's something at the core of this disjointed group that will connect the brokenness. And within these walls we'll find Dahlia who suffered an unspoken trauma over twenty years ago that has left her housebound. She concentrates on her 1,000 piece puzzles from her familiar chair while watching for signs of need from these children. Harsh of voice, but gentle of heart. And all the while Louie gets up each morning and heads to his car repair shop to feed this growing group. A hulk of a man who keeps his finger on the pulse of what's happening. All the Children Are Home may not be for everyone. But I would say this: Don't avoid an opportunity to sit with these uncomfortable realities that touch other people's lives so directly. How do we build compassion if we don't open ourselves up and view what rests inside another's soul? This novel showcases the resilience of the human spirit as well in recognizing instantly the pain in another's journey. It's all in the binding together of my unease with yours to surely make a difference.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Foster parents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are successful, have pure motives, some do not and cause more harm than good. Dahlia and her husband are good ones, emotionally invested in these traumatized children that have been entrusted to their care. Wanting to foster only boys, they ultimately come to foster two very different girls, alongside the boys in their care. Agnes arrives as a very traumatized six year old, and will change the dynamic of this household. A family that is made from Foster parents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are successful, have pure motives, some do not and cause more harm than good. Dahlia and her husband are good ones, emotionally invested in these traumatized children that have been entrusted to their care. Wanting to foster only boys, they ultimately come to foster two very different girls, alongside the boys in their care. Agnes arrives as a very traumatized six year old, and will change the dynamic of this household. A family that is made from the ashes of trauma, maybe more special because it is a family of choice. Trauma, past memories, yearning for a future for children who might have had none. A good home with good people but not one without scars and trauma which need to be worked through. These characters change and grow, secrets in their past are revealed as they come together, break apart and come together again. A wonderful novel, a heartfelt one that affirms the importance of love and connection.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Patry

    ALL THE CHILDREN ARE HOME is more personal and important to me than anything I've ever written. Though the Moscatellis are entirely fictional, the story of a small child, separated not only from her birth family but all knowledge of herself and her cultural identity is one that is particularly close to my heart. All too often we hear about the tragedies that occur when the foster care system fails. Those abuses impact my characters as well, but more than that, I wanted to shine a light on the ch ALL THE CHILDREN ARE HOME is more personal and important to me than anything I've ever written. Though the Moscatellis are entirely fictional, the story of a small child, separated not only from her birth family but all knowledge of herself and her cultural identity is one that is particularly close to my heart. All too often we hear about the tragedies that occur when the foster care system fails. Those abuses impact my characters as well, but more than that, I wanted to shine a light on the challenges and successes of "good" foster parents—those who welcome our most wounded children into their homes and raise them as their own—and on the resilience and plain courage such children need simply to survive. As part of my research, I interviewed a former supervisor from the Department of Children and Families. She told me about "Margaret," a retired foster mother who had taken in nineteen children over the years. In the early days of the AIDS epidemic when there was little knowledge and much fear surrounding the virus, the department was having trouble finding a home for a newborn who had tested positive. Margaret was older by then, but as soon as she heard about the abandoned baby, she went to the hospital and took her home where she cared for her for the rest of the girl's life. In Dahlia Moscatelli, I wanted to create a hero like that—ordinary and all too human—but one for whom love, particularly the love for children, always outweighs fear.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica | JustReadingJess

    All the Children Are Home is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story about family. Dahlia and Louie are happy with their three foster children when they temporarily bring Agnes into their home. This story shows that family is more than blood. All of the characters are put in difficult situations, and it is interesting to see how they react and how it affects their lives. I felt so bad for all the characters at some point. I enjoyed seeing Agnes become part of the family. The viewpoints of the dif All the Children Are Home is a heartbreaking and heartwarming story about family. Dahlia and Louie are happy with their three foster children when they temporarily bring Agnes into their home. This story shows that family is more than blood. All of the characters are put in difficult situations, and it is interesting to see how they react and how it affects their lives. I felt so bad for all the characters at some point. I enjoyed seeing Agnes become part of the family. The viewpoints of the different family members allows the reader to understand what all of the characters went through. All the Children Are Home is a story of family, love and protecting others. I recommend All the Children Are Home to fans of character driven stories about family. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Kimberly Woods, Nora Hunter, Mia Barron and Patrick Zeller. They all did a great job and I really felt like the characters were telling their stories. I enjoyed having a large cast of narrators with a different narrator for each character. Thank you Harper Perennial for the ARC and Harper Audio for the ALC. Full Review: https://justreadingjess.wordpress.com...

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn in FL

    GLORIOUS, HEART WRENCHING, VICTORIOUS FIGHTERS 5 BEAUTIFUL ***** "All the Children Are Home" deeply moved me as I read these people, who were shaken by a life's serious struggles but stood strong together despite the criticism of their community. Patry Francis has written a powerful novel that will linger in my mind long after I close the back cover. There were no extraordinary circumstances, no elements of the fantastical or superheroes, we often see in novels published today. We see individuals, GLORIOUS, HEART WRENCHING, VICTORIOUS FIGHTERS 5 BEAUTIFUL ***** "All the Children Are Home" deeply moved me as I read these people, who were shaken by a life's serious struggles but stood strong together despite the criticism of their community. Patry Francis has written a powerful novel that will linger in my mind long after I close the back cover. There were no extraordinary circumstances, no elements of the fantastical or superheroes, we often see in novels published today. We see individuals, bonded by love come hold one another up as they face their own unique challenges and it worked beautifully though not always the way the outside world would accept or applaud but reveals the inner strength of the individual, who chose not to throw in the towel. Dahlia and Louis Moscatelli begin the family by fostering Jimmy, a young man, who lost both parents to addiction, one is the town drunk and is often arrested for minor little crimes and Jimmy's source of ongoing shame. Next came Zaidie and Jon, who watched as their mom passed after their father abandoned her when she was pregnant with Jon. The story begins shortly before Agnes joins them, she is Native American and the source of derision in the 1950's due to her color. Her last foster home was horrific and she suffered broken bones. The primary narrators are Dahlia, who little by little shares her past trauma and very subtly points why they came to be foster parents. Zaidie and Agnes often contribute their own thoughts about this new family to which they belong and on occasion, we hear from Jimmy and his thoughts as well. In many respects, each person is rather ordinary, that was a powerful addition to this story in many ways. It was a result of the ordinariness of the parents that lent the children with consistency and resilience. Though they each have their minor and eventually major contact with the community and even the law, they know they will be supported and that their relationships will remain solid and strong, this family is a unit and though outside affection is a rarity and the "l" word is almost never said, each knows that their family is there for them no matter what! This is the story's brilliance. Ms. Francis doesn't require the character's to say all that they are thinking to allow us to know who they are, she is an artist that reveals them through their behaviors. So much so, that I was moved to tears, something that on rare occasions happens, the last time was a year and some months when I read, "This Tender Land". In the movie adaptation of Eric Segal's "Love Story", Jennifer Cavalleri say to her love Oliver Barrett "Love means never having to say you're sorry". Ms. Francis once again demonstrates that real love is being there for someone to encourage and stand with them during their darkest moments. I'd award more than 5 stars because of the solid conclusion of the story. I am grateful t0 Goodreads for the opportunity to request an ARC, I appreciate Harper Perennial for making the book available. I also thank the author, Patry Francis for writing a touching story that moved me. In return, I promised to write an honest review of my experience with this story. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, I urge you to order ASAP! Pre-Order if you can, it is sure to be a 2021 bestseller! Planned release is scheduled - April 13th 2021 by Harper Perennial. Triggers: Child abuse; sexual assault (modestly descriptive); bullying

  11. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Happy Independence Day! 3.5 rating -- I appreciated this book -- liked many aspects of it -- but at some point --my interest waned. The POV-styling-storytelling became a little tedious to me -- even a little repetitive... yet I still 'liked' it. I know foster children. I'm friends with two wonderful gay men --who adopted two boys after being their foster parents. I remember many of the beginning horrors with the kids unfit mother-- when the mother wanted them back -- (my friends were feeling so Happy Independence Day! 3.5 rating -- I appreciated this book -- liked many aspects of it -- but at some point --my interest waned. The POV-styling-storytelling became a little tedious to me -- even a little repetitive... yet I still 'liked' it. I know foster children. I'm friends with two wonderful gay men --who adopted two boys after being their foster parents. I remember many of the beginning horrors with the kids unfit mother-- when the mother wanted them back -- (my friends were feeling so much loss and were afraid for the boys) -- Eventually -- short story > my friends 'are' now the boys parents. The kids couldn't have better parents! LIKE --OMG --amazing parents!!!! They boys are thriving. Getting their holiday photo gift card- and family-year-adventures every Christmas- is always my favorite card of the year. So.... I couldn't help but think of my friends when reading this novel. I do think there was much authenticity in the storyline. But the narrative just wasn't always that interesting --and Dahlia had a back story that came so late in the book, I felt I lost that opportunity to have felt deeper emotions with and for her, (the reveal earlier would have helped) Taking place in the 1950's and 1960's...[small town in Massachusetts].... Dahlia Moscatelli --foster mother --had once suffered devastating trauma --so she told the social services she didn't want to take any 'girls' - she 'knew' the troubles ahead for young girls-- so she only wanted boys. But when Dahlia meets six year old Agnes -- an indigenous child, (it didn't take long to know that this sweet shy child had been severely abused), and Dahlia just couldn't say no! Louie, Dahlai's husband, was a stern man, but not a horrible guy. He didn't want any more "emergency kids"....but....even Louie couldn't say no. Agnes could break and steal your heart all at the same time. Zaide, another foster child takes Agnes under her wings - teaches her -helps her -comforts her. Jimmy, a teenager, and Joe, a toddler, are two other foster kids -- Everyone was struggling with something from their past -- This resilient family pulls together. Its their love and empathy for each other that 'is' truly moving.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carmel Hanes

    Sometimes I wonder if birth canals are lined with invisible decks of cards or roulette wheels, secretly imprinting a life hand or number (lucky or not) onto the child sliding out; some kind of "fate" from the moment they pass into their own lives. Will they be loved? Will they have good fortune? Will they receive the nourishment they need to become all they can be? Or will they flounder in unmet needs, misfortune, pain and neglect? Will they find a rock to climb onto before they drown, or be off Sometimes I wonder if birth canals are lined with invisible decks of cards or roulette wheels, secretly imprinting a life hand or number (lucky or not) onto the child sliding out; some kind of "fate" from the moment they pass into their own lives. Will they be loved? Will they have good fortune? Will they receive the nourishment they need to become all they can be? Or will they flounder in unmet needs, misfortune, pain and neglect? Will they find a rock to climb onto before they drown, or be offered a lifeline where least expected? The children in this novel are some of those born into difficult circumstances and end up in foster care. Each with a backstory, each with a burden, each with a personality and way of surviving in an unpredictable world. Transplanted from their families, they re-root in a home where the soil may not be perfect, but provides enough essential nutrients to grow, to put on leaves, maybe to flower. A place where the nurtured become the nurturers, where giving leads to giving back. Where trust and love can create miracles, a day at a time, a step at a time. I've known foster kids. Those who arrive in a new placement with their meager belongings in paper or plastic bags. Those who often pay the price for adult challenges and failures. The kids in this story are realistic and well-portrayed. I've known foster parents. Those who open their homes and hearts to temporary orphans. They come in all sizes and shapes, but the ones who do it for love are unappreciated heroes. And just like with biological parents, meeting foster parents can be awakening from a bad dream or the continuation of a nightmare. This book offers a complete view of this complex world. A story that is captivating and maintains tension throughout as the characters try to find solid ground on shifting sands.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    5+ stars! Boy, did I get attached to these characters. I am not ready to say goodbye to them. 😢

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lins

    “All the Children Are Home”, by Patry Francis, is immediately engaging! It’s the story of the Moscatelli family. Dahlia and Louie are foster parents to Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon. Into the mix arrives “temporary” and “emergency”, Agnes, a six year old indigenous child, who immediately captivates us all. The story is set in the 1950s and 60s and you will absolutely CRINGE with some of the language used, and some of the ways that the children are treated. But it is very true to the era! Remember, this “All the Children Are Home”, by Patry Francis, is immediately engaging! It’s the story of the Moscatelli family. Dahlia and Louie are foster parents to Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon. Into the mix arrives “temporary” and “emergency”, Agnes, a six year old indigenous child, who immediately captivates us all. The story is set in the 1950s and 60s and you will absolutely CRINGE with some of the language used, and some of the ways that the children are treated. But it is very true to the era! Remember, this is the era when kids played “Cowboys and Indians”! Structured in sections with the alternating points of view of foster mother, Dahlia, oldest daughter Zaidie, and Agnes. The characters are beautifully drawn, the narrative is intriguing, and the plot is propulsive, thus I found it very difficult to put this novel down. There were so many questions/mysteries that I wanted to understand. What happened to Dahlia that caused her to become agoraphobic? Why did she decide to become a foster mother? What will happen to these children? The novel shows that “family” is so much more than shared genetics; I fell in love with the Moscatellis, and I recommend this wonderful novel to every reader who loves stories about families full of both heartbreak and joy. It’s been compared to “Ask Again, Yes” by Mary Beth Keane, but I must also compare it to Mary Lawson’s wonderful family novels. I hated to part with the Moscatellis!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn Conroy

    The short review: Read this book. Now. The long review: This is the rarest of books in that it not only grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go, but also it made me think—a lot. In addition to sophisticated storytelling, ingenious plotting, and vivid, bold characters that are so real they jump off the page, this novel is a profound examination of the human spirit—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is a testament to the power of family love to heal and offer the ultimate gift: hope. Best of all, it's The short review: Read this book. Now. The long review: This is the rarest of books in that it not only grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go, but also it made me think—a lot. In addition to sophisticated storytelling, ingenious plotting, and vivid, bold characters that are so real they jump off the page, this novel is a profound examination of the human spirit—the good, the bad, and the ugly. It is a testament to the power of family love to heal and offer the ultimate gift: hope. Best of all, it's just a really, really good read. Exquisitely written by Patry Francis, this is the story of what it means to be a beloved member of a family. Years earlier, Dahlia was the victim of a horrific crime—the details of which are only hinted at until fully revealed near the end of the book—that left her an agoraphobic. Even so, she married Louie, a homely man with a big heart. They become foster parents to three somewhat permanent kids, as well as a series of "Emergencies" who quickly pass through and leave their home, although never their hearts. It's 1962 when the book opens, and the latest "Emergency" is Agnes, a six-year-old American Indian whose short life has been filled with emotional tragedy and physical abuse. Dahlia and Louie don't want a fourth child, but Agnes squirms her way into their hearts. This is the story of a happy family until one night everything changes and threatens all they love and all they hold dear. Quite simply, I loved this book. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Bonus: This book is packed with poignant, practical, and pertinent life advice—so much so you'll find yourself highlighting on your Kindle or underlining on paper pages. Aside to Patry Francis: Please write a sequel! (PLEASE!)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bookoholiccafe

    The story takes place in a Massachusetts town in the late 1950s. Dahlia and her husband Louie are foster parents to Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon. But their lives change when a social worker begs them to take care of Agnes, a six-year-old indigenous child who was a temporary and emergency case. I found Agnes’s character exceptionally captivating. Agnes had no knowledge of her heritage; she only has a box that contains items from her past. Their story was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I learned a The story takes place in a Massachusetts town in the late 1950s. Dahlia and her husband Louie are foster parents to Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon. But their lives change when a social worker begs them to take care of Agnes, a six-year-old indigenous child who was a temporary and emergency case. I found Agnes’s character exceptionally captivating. Agnes had no knowledge of her heritage; she only has a box that contains items from her past. Their story was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I learned a lot through the lines of this story. I would like to share one of the most impressive quotes from this book: "You don’t do anything by yourself in this world, and if it’s worth anything, it’s not just for yourself, either. You’re either lifting up the people around you, or you’re pulling them down, whether you know it or not." It is a beautifully written family drama with charming characters. The storyline is intriguing, and the details are very well describing. Many thanks to @harperperennial for the #gifted copy. I really enjoyed this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sterling Shanks

    I was instantly drawn to this story because of my experience being a foster parent. There is a lot going on in this story. There is beautiful story telling done here. As someone who has been involved in foster care for a while, it is a very unrepresented story line that I wish more people knew about. “All the Children are Home” does do some things really well. It shows the complications of being in foster care. At its core being in foster care means your family is broken. These kids in residenti I was instantly drawn to this story because of my experience being a foster parent. There is a lot going on in this story. There is beautiful story telling done here. As someone who has been involved in foster care for a while, it is a very unrepresented story line that I wish more people knew about. “All the Children are Home” does do some things really well. It shows the complications of being in foster care. At its core being in foster care means your family is broken. These kids in residential care just need above all love. This shows that in the weaving of it’s story. I particularly loved the story line of Agnes. The author did such a good job of showing what it’s like to be a different race than your foster family. I enjoyed as a reader being able to watch her grow and thrive under the care of Ma. Thank you so much Net Galley for this advanced copy, I enjoyed reading it!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    I loved this book so much so it's strange that I'm having a hard time putting my feelings into words. I feel like this book has the power to restore your faith in humanity; there are still good people in the world! This will be a top favorite of 2021 and an all-time favorite! I received an advanced copy as part of the #oliveinfluencer program from Harper Perennial; all thoughts and opinions are my own. I loved this book so much so it's strange that I'm having a hard time putting my feelings into words. I feel like this book has the power to restore your faith in humanity; there are still good people in the world! This will be a top favorite of 2021 and an all-time favorite! I received an advanced copy as part of the #oliveinfluencer program from Harper Perennial; all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Unable to conceive biological children, Dahlia and Louie become foster parents instead. With foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon living with them indefinitely, they feel like their family is complete but yet when 6 year old Native American girl Agnes arrives, they just can't say no. "Sometimes there is no line, Dahlia. Isn’t that what you’ve been telling me all these years?" Ever since reading and loving The Orphans of Race Point in 2014, I have been waiting for another book by this author. Al Unable to conceive biological children, Dahlia and Louie become foster parents instead. With foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon living with them indefinitely, they feel like their family is complete but yet when 6 year old Native American girl Agnes arrives, they just can't say no. "Sometimes there is no line, Dahlia. Isn’t that what you’ve been telling me all these years?" Ever since reading and loving The Orphans of Race Point in 2014, I have been waiting for another book by this author. All the Children Are Home was one of my most anticipated reads of 2021, and it exceeded my expectations. Just like Race Point, Home also focused on how blood isn't always thicker than water. Set in the 1950s and 60s, this story about love, courage, and resilience was so beautiful, so real, so raw, and so tender that it brought tears to my eyes more times than any other book ever. It evoked so many emotions for so many different reasons, yet also provided powerful rays of hope, filling my heart with joy, love and light. "Hope is the thing with feathers." This story didn't just tug on my heartstrings; its poignancy yanked them so tightly it hurt. When life gets rough, we all think, "I don’t have it in me." But then another day dawns, and we do. "A new day that demanded we get up and live it." If you'd like to read another excellent book about foster kids, then I'd highly recommend The Language of Flowers (5 stars) by Vanessa Diffenbaugh! Location: Massachusetts I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own. I also loved these quotes: "That was coach for you. Even when she claimed to give up on me, she was still trying to find a sneaky way to make me better. Just like Ma." Page 181 "Cause when you see a scrap of pretty in this world, you gotta stop and give it a little respect... do you know why?... Cause there’s a whole lot of ugly out there." Page 185 "You don’t do anything by yourself in this world, and if it’s worth anything, it’s not just for yourself, either. You’re either lifting up the people around you, or you’re pulling them down, whether you know it or not." Page 199 "Every blade of grass has an angel that stands over it, whispering, Grow, Grow. That was Ma. That was the work of her life." Page 199 "What could I say to the girls who had come to me like Jimmy, in the fabulous migration of souls, and given me back a world that was dead to me?" Page 366

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Brody

    Dahlia Moscatelli's life is bound to her foster children. Initially, she told social services that she only wanted boys but they managed to talk her into taking a few girls. Dahlia knows the horrors that girls face and she doesn't want to be an observer to this. She herself suffered some horrible trauma as a young woman that keeps her housebound with her foster children. Her husband Louis has a stern exterior but a heart of gold. One day, social services comes to Dahlia begging her to take in a y Dahlia Moscatelli's life is bound to her foster children. Initially, she told social services that she only wanted boys but they managed to talk her into taking a few girls. Dahlia knows the horrors that girls face and she doesn't want to be an observer to this. She herself suffered some horrible trauma as a young woman that keeps her housebound with her foster children. Her husband Louis has a stern exterior but a heart of gold. One day, social services comes to Dahlia begging her to take in a young Native American girl named Agnes. Agnes has suffered long and terrible abuse and is barely able to speak. One of the older foster girls, Zaide, takes Agnes under her wing and helps teach her proper speaking and comforts her when she fearful. Agnes is frightened that Dean's car, the one her abuser drives, will come for her and she will not be able to escape. Every night she watches for it. Nightmares overrun her sleep and she often gets into Zaides's bed for protection. The other two children in Dahlia's care are Jimmy, a teenager who is struggling with first love and his hormones, and Joe, Zaide's little brother who is a toddler. Agnes has bad asthma and she is told never to run. She has no knowledge of her heritage except for a box she carries everywhere that contains mementos of her past life. At first I really enjoyed the narrative and story line but then it got a bit bland and distant to me. I couldn't connect well with the characters and I found too much of the novel repetitive and prescient. This is not to say I did not like the book, it is only to indicate that had it been edited more, and the character development been richer, it could have been a much better novel. 3.5 rounded up to 4.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nadia

    A very tender story, one that grew on me with every chapter. It's not easy to write children enduring trauma. The author wrote what we needed to empathize, not to exploit. Lovely characters and evolution. A very tender story, one that grew on me with every chapter. It's not easy to write children enduring trauma. The author wrote what we needed to empathize, not to exploit. Lovely characters and evolution.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yelena

    Ahhhh, where do I begin? I guess I won't begin by re-telling the book even though it seems to be a very popular way to write reviews on here. I am assuming that you either already read the book, in which case, why would I re-tell it to you? Or want to read it, and again, why would I re-tell it to you?? I looked long and hard for what were people seeing in this book to keep giving it 5 stars. I mean, yes, it's a touching story. And yes, it's a great topic. But 5 stars?? The characters where just n Ahhhh, where do I begin? I guess I won't begin by re-telling the book even though it seems to be a very popular way to write reviews on here. I am assuming that you either already read the book, in which case, why would I re-tell it to you? Or want to read it, and again, why would I re-tell it to you?? I looked long and hard for what were people seeing in this book to keep giving it 5 stars. I mean, yes, it's a touching story. And yes, it's a great topic. But 5 stars?? The characters where just not developed at all. And I get it, it's hard when you have at least 5 main characters to bring them all to life. But wow, the first 75 % of the book was just.....a mess. I had to keep going back to the beginning of each chapter, trying to remember who we were reading about. None of the kids really had any personalities at all. Foster mother? Oh my, she was there....but wasn't really there.... The story line itself was a mess too. I don't know if the author was going for "hardships of the foster care" or "greatness of those particular foster parents", but she didn't succeed in any of it. So, to sum it up - if you want to tell a story from 5 different perspectives - you better have a talent to develop those perspectives and decide what exactly is the point of your story. And if the plot spans a decade, you better have some kind of transitions. I keep trying to have faith in contemporary fiction, but finding very few good ones.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Possibly the best book I have read since Where the Crawdads Sing. Party Francis has given us a good plot with well -developed characters set during the 50’s and 60’s in a small town near Boston. Dahlia and Louie Mostcatelli have been foster parents since they were not able to have children of their own. Dahlia only wanted to take in boys but when the social worker begged she took in two girls, Zaidie and later Agnes who joined Jimmy and Jon and became permanent members of the family. Agnes does n Possibly the best book I have read since Where the Crawdads Sing. Party Francis has given us a good plot with well -developed characters set during the 50’s and 60’s in a small town near Boston. Dahlia and Louie Mostcatelli have been foster parents since they were not able to have children of their own. Dahlia only wanted to take in boys but when the social worker begged she took in two girls, Zaidie and later Agnes who joined Jimmy and Jon and became permanent members of the family. Agnes does not even know how to relate normally when she arrives as an emergency placement. She has been horribly abused before her placement with the Mostcatelli family. Louie, the Dad, has a rough exterior but loves his extended family with all his heart. Dahlia Mostcatelli does not leave the house at all until near the end of the novel when her own story is revealed. The Mostcatelli children have been parented with Mrs. Mostcatelli remaining inside while working on her puzzles. The children grow up during the 400 pages of this novel. Good things happen as well as bad as is true for most families. I would classify this novel as literary fiction with writing at its best. I have edited many novels and I would not make one change in this one. Enjoy. I will give nothing away.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kym

    Nearly done with this book & not ready for it to be over. As of right now, less than 100 pages left, I have soo many questions. Not about what has happened, but what will happen to the different characters once I am finished. This is my book by Patry Francis & I don't think I want to share it. I do want others to read it though-it'd a great book Nearly done with this book & not ready for it to be over. As of right now, less than 100 pages left, I have soo many questions. Not about what has happened, but what will happen to the different characters once I am finished. This is my book by Patry Francis & I don't think I want to share it. I do want others to read it though-it'd a great book

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kym's Open Books

    While this book is about fostering in the 1950-1960’s, I found it to be so much more. I think the charm behind this was the home this family created despite their different backgrounds. It became a very ordinary home that was created with extraordinary circumstances. In this family they knew they were loved. There was never a doubt. Being able to do that in a foster home is commendable to the mother and father. Every child needs to grow up feeling loved and accepted. I liked being able to hear ab While this book is about fostering in the 1950-1960’s, I found it to be so much more. I think the charm behind this was the home this family created despite their different backgrounds. It became a very ordinary home that was created with extraordinary circumstances. In this family they knew they were loved. There was never a doubt. Being able to do that in a foster home is commendable to the mother and father. Every child needs to grow up feeling loved and accepted. I liked being able to hear about their lives before fostering and even the father’s doubts and concerns. We hear many POV’s and I liked the author’s way of showing how each person was affected and how they felt. It’s truly a book about love, a family made and the effort those go through to show love. Thank you to Harper Perennial for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review. This book releases April 13, 2021. https://www.theopenbooks.net/2021/04/...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna Everhart

    Originally published at New York Journal of Books: https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book... Originally published at New York Journal of Books: https://www.nyjournalofbooks.com/book...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    A friend loaned me this book, saying "My sister is a friend of the author." She read it while floating in a kayak on Convict Lake. That sounded so idyllic and I was going there with my kayak the next week. I was afraid I would get it wet, so the book stayed home. I read parts and listened to parts and always felt like I didn't know the whole story. I liked the children and the foster parents enough that I kept reading and listening over again, trying to find what I had missed. I don't think all A friend loaned me this book, saying "My sister is a friend of the author." She read it while floating in a kayak on Convict Lake. That sounded so idyllic and I was going there with my kayak the next week. I was afraid I would get it wet, so the book stayed home. I read parts and listened to parts and always felt like I didn't know the whole story. I liked the children and the foster parents enough that I kept reading and listening over again, trying to find what I had missed. I don't think all the children are home at the end. I returned the book so my friend's mother could read it, but I don't think I'm done with it yet. I may suggest it for book club and read it again in a few months. But first I'll try another book by Francis.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Rose

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 4.5 stars. Equal parts realistically brutal and passionately optimistic, this book delves into the life of a foster family during the late 1950-1960s, each member with their own baggage and obstacles. The story of Dahlia, Louie and their foster children Jimmy, Zaida, Jon and Agnes explores their strength, perseverance and love for one another as they each face their pasts and the darker parts of themselves over a period of ten years. It's hard to describe how much Patry Francis made me care abou 4.5 stars. Equal parts realistically brutal and passionately optimistic, this book delves into the life of a foster family during the late 1950-1960s, each member with their own baggage and obstacles. The story of Dahlia, Louie and their foster children Jimmy, Zaida, Jon and Agnes explores their strength, perseverance and love for one another as they each face their pasts and the darker parts of themselves over a period of ten years. It's hard to describe how much Patry Francis made me care about these characters. I felt like I got to see the kids grow up, feel hopeful when their lives made happy turns and equally crushed when things went wrong--especially with Jimmy and Dahlia. As intense as their stories were, this book was about ultimately about overcoming the weight of the past, pushing forward and finding new dreams, and fighting for the family you choose. Not a light read, but very beautiful. Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy! Spoiler Trigger Warnings: Child abuse, discussion of attempted suicide, a survivor of a violent rape recalls her experience (it's not graphic in description, but in context its pretty brutal)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Addie BookCrazyBlogger

    It’s 1959 and Agnes Juniper is six years old, Native American and has been horrifically abused, neglected throughout her short life. She’s sent to live with the Moscatelli’s: Dahlia, Louie and their three adopted children: Jimmy, Jon and Zadie. Dahlia is determined to never have teenagers, only have boys and never have any juvenile delinquents. She breaks all three of her rules in order to raise her three children, including Agnes when it becomes clear that Agnes is determined to become part of It’s 1959 and Agnes Juniper is six years old, Native American and has been horrifically abused, neglected throughout her short life. She’s sent to live with the Moscatelli’s: Dahlia, Louie and their three adopted children: Jimmy, Jon and Zadie. Dahlia is determined to never have teenagers, only have boys and never have any juvenile delinquents. She breaks all three of her rules in order to raise her three children, including Agnes when it becomes clear that Agnes is determined to become part of the family. The novel goes on to tell the story of this family as they grow up throughout the 60’s, not holding back from pain, fear, good times and bad times, including the story behind why Dahlia is a virtual hermit, refusing to leave her house. If you’re looking for a family saga, then you have to pick this book up. This book brought tears to my eyes, brought laughter to my heart and transported me back into the 60’s with a ramshackle family that runs on a little bit of money, a lot of strength and more love than anything else.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I enjoyed “All the Children Are Home”, by Patry Francis. I am picky with fiction and this book had me engaged from the very start and I found it hard to put down. The characters in the story really touched me and I loved experiencing their growth throughout the book. I do wish Louie's point of view was included in addition to the other characters. The Moscatellis showed how it's not blood that makes a family - each member of the household is so supportive and caring towards the others. These cha I enjoyed “All the Children Are Home”, by Patry Francis. I am picky with fiction and this book had me engaged from the very start and I found it hard to put down. The characters in the story really touched me and I loved experiencing their growth throughout the book. I do wish Louie's point of view was included in addition to the other characters. The Moscatellis showed how it's not blood that makes a family - each member of the household is so supportive and caring towards the others. These characters were all broken and vulnerable in their own ways and thrived due to the unconditional love and support they received from each other. There are so many special moments in the story of what they do for each other - these characters and how they cared for each other will stick with me. I feel that the characters are really the strength of this story. I didn't always care for the storyline, but felt like that was really just a background and following these people as they became more aware of their struggles and tried to overcome them while strengthening their relationships with each other was the main purpose of the book. Thank you very much for this ARC! I'm so glad I read this book and definitely recommend it.

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