cover image How to Find Your Way Home

How to Find Your Way Home

Katy Regan. Berkley, $17 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-451-49037-7

Regan’s moving if heavy-handed latest (after Little Big Love) turns on a family’s hardships and the unconditional love between siblings. Emily Nelson, 31, frequently wonders about her brother, Stephen, 35, who has struggled with addiction and homelessness. While the two were very close during their childhood on Canvey Island, Essex, where their imaginations were captured by migratory birds, their contact has been strained and intermittent since an incident when Stephen was 16 involving a devastating fall from a ladder outside their house. The details are murky until the third act, but the reader learns Stephen was sent to prison at 16 while Emily went to college, and their stepfather, Mitch, has tetraplegia. Emily now works to provide housing to the homeless, and one day Stephen comes to her office, looking for a place to live. She takes him in, and Regan flashes back to their parents’ divorce and mother’s remarriage, what happened with the ladder, and the birds that were so important to Stephen. The bird migration metaphors are overly abundant, but the relationship between Emily and Stephen feels solid and true. While this doesn’t quite soar from its formulaic trappings, it has plenty of moments of uplift. (Feb.)