Cover image for Home free
Home free
Hailey, Elizabeth Forsythe.
Personal Author:
Large print edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [1991]

Physical Description:
568 pages (large print) ; 25 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
FICTION Adult Large Print Large Print

On Order

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Like the movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Home Free is about a "bum" who is taken in by the wealthy in California. Protagonist Kate undergoes a maelstrom of transformation--personally and socially--after her film-director husband, Cliff, announces on Christmas Eve that he is leaving her for another woman. That same night, Kate meets, befriends, and eventually behomes a homeless family: Ford, handsome and lithe, with strong faith in God; his wife, Sunny, who, like Kate, is determined to find her place in the world; and their two likable children. The book offers moments of sheer human verisimilitude; these, combined with well-drawn characters and a plot that snares almost from the first page, make the book hard to set down. One is tempted, but not quite, to say Home Free is a "feel good" book. It is more strongly a "do something good" book. Though we can never quite get over the nagging feeling that Kate's idealism is implausible, Hailey proves that it is possible to write serious fiction about such seemingly untouchable subjects as faith, hope, and charity. ~--Eloise Kinney

Publisher's Weekly Review

Hailey ( A Woman of Independent Means ) opens her fourth novel just as Kate's husband has announced that he is leaving her. For 25 years Kate has taken wifehood ``as seriously as anyone takes a paying job,'' as she later tells a friend, ``and I thought I was earning the right to a secure old age with the man I loved.'' Devastated when her husband drives off, Kate notices a battered station wagon in front of her house: ``It looked the way she felt.'' The driver can't start the car, and Kate runs out, offering him the use of her phone. Thus begins Kate's relationship with homeless Ford and his family, who have lost their farm in Iowa and come to California in search of work. Eventually they share Kate's house. In saving this family, Kate saves herself. Hailey, however, sugarcoats the gravity of her themes--the immorality of the deep division in American society between the haves and the have-nots; the plight of abandoned wives. Resolutions of these problems are too easily effected here, but although the novel is not entirely persuasive, it offers a gratifying encounter with a tremendously likable heroine. Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club alternate selections. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

On Christmas Eve, two life-altering events are thrust upon Kate, a traditional middle - class housewife, without warning. Cliff, her husband of 25 years, announces he is leaving her for his old flame. Then, Ford, who is living in a dilapidated station wagon, appears at Kate's doorstep. Having lost their Iowa farm, Ford and his family have moved to California to begin a new life. Desperate for shelter, Ford leaves his wife and children in a seedy hostel for women while he searches for work. When Kate reunites Ford's family under her roof, her life begins anew as she champions the plight of the homeless. As in her earlier novels ( A Woman of Independent Means , LJ 5/25/78; Life Sentences , LJ 5/15/82), Hailey injects a surprising twist in the plot and creates characters who transcend personal crises. Even though the prose is trite at times, Hailey's fans will enjoy this work. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/90.-- Mary Ellen Els bernd, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.