Drawing Home

🐞 🐞 🐞 🐞

Jamie Brenner

Little, Brown, and Company

May 7, 2019

368 Pages

Goodreads | Amazon


Emma Mapson is a single mother, struggling to get by working as a manager of the iconic American Hotel in Sag Harbor. She doesn’t have much time for her teenage daughter, Penny, but she does what she can to be a good parent. Unfortunately, Penny is really struggling, especially since her friend—the famous artist, Henry Wyatt—had a heart attack and died on his favorite bar stool in the hotel. Now Penny is spiraling, partying, and generally acting obstinate, just as the busy summer season is beginning.

Emma is already overwhelmed by it all. So when a lawyer shows up and tells her that Penny just inherited the late Wyatt’s local, lake-side mansion, she doesn’t know what to think. Of course, Penny is overjoyed at the thought of getting a fresh start in the new house—and, for a second, Emma is, too—but Emma is suspicious of Wyatt’s intentions. To make matters worse, Wyatt’s long-time friend and former manager, Bea Winstead, is less than thrilled that his estate is passing into the hands of child, let alone a child she’s never heard of. Now, the three of them (well, four, if you count Bea’s handsome handyman assistant) have to figure out a way to coexist in the wake of Wyatt’s passing.


This ended up being a nice, easy read. It’s not complete fluff—in fact, I was surprised by some of the more serious issues in here, like one character’s intense OCD—but this was still an easily digestible story with engaging (albeit somewhat cliche) characters and an interesting plot. I liked how the story wrapped up, too. Even though I could see the endpoint from a mile away, I was still surprised by how it got there.

My only complaint is that Emma’s tendency to catastrophize and freak out got annoying quick. I also wish Henry had been a bigger part of the story. Otherwise, though, I enjoyed Drawing Home, overall. If you’re looking for something light to read on the plane, this one’s for you.

Big thank you to Amazon Vine and Little, Brown, & Company for the ARC!

14 thoughts

    1. It’s true! Sometimes predictable is comforting. There’s a reason I always watch Devil Wears Prada when I’m sick, haha. It’s just fun to zone out with a cliche character or two every once in a while. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Every once in awhile, a novel with cliched character seems like just the right thing. I found that Sarah Addison Allen does a good job of making me feel all warm and fuzzy while creating characters that are predictable. Although, in one book that I read she did have a very unusual guest living in the main characters closet! If you’re looking for another fun, fuzzy read, try The Sugar Queen: https://grabthelapels.com/2017/07/20/sugar-queen/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I will definitely check that one out. You made an interesting point/observation about the secretive eating thing. It’s always been so weird to me that women feel all kinds of nervousness about eating in public, while men scarf down whatever they want without worrying about judgment. I hate that I still feel uncomfortable eating in front of people I don’t know. What an odd phenomenon, you know? Anyway, thanks for the rec!


      1. I think women do it to each other. The teaching job I had, I spent four years at lunch with a woman in the school’s dining hall (it was inexpensive for staff). Just watching her get an entire piece of cake, take one bite, and then pick the rest up with a napkin and squash it all together so she wouldn’t be tempted to eat more. Every day. We teach each other to eat guiltily.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good grief, that’s really sad. It’s tough watching people be so harsh with themselves. And over what, really? An obsession with calories or weight or appearance?…or do we even know why we’re really doing it anymore? I think it may just have more to do with control, a way to quell our anxiety. Sometimes, I think these OCD mannerisms are almost like an American form of (unhealthy) meditation–like if I just obsess over how many calories I’m eating, it gives my brain something to focus on. Or if I just spend hours looking at clothes or sunglasses or shoes online, my brain can zone out and almost “rest” in this state of being hyper focused on one thing. We put these unreasonable expectations on neutral everyday objects (like food and clothes) because we don’t know what else to do with our uncomfortable feelings.


          1. That is…incredibly insightful! It IS like a mantra! It’s also about repetition — she did the cake thing EVERY. DAY. I followed a dietician blogger for a while who had formerly been a Weight Watchers participant and then leader, and the way she described the all day, every day obsession with hunger really struck me as a very Western problem. Starving in the land of plenty is selfish, and, of course, starving yourself in general is dangerous.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Exactly! It’s like there is a comfort and calming effect in the repetition. It gives us a place to focus our minds. When you take a step back and try to look at it objectively, food is such a weird thing to be worried about. But like anything else, once you’re all caught up in the obsession of it—calories and pounds and grams of fat, etc.—it’s hard to see how ridiculous it all is.


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