Where is Home?
This question troubles many of us. We may live far from where we grew up, away from those we love or in a culture not our own. But we all need somewhere to belong, to find a sense of home in this world.
Jo Swinney was born in the UK, but grew up in Portugal and France. She went to an English boarding school, did a gap year in southern Africa and in her twenties studied theology in Canada, where she met her American husband. Now back in the UK, she’s had more reason than most to wonder what ‘home’ really means.
Is home where you come from – where you live now – where the people you love are – or what?
Interweaving a frank and poignant retelling of her own story with theological and psychological insights, Jo’s original and authentic exploration of home in all its many and varied forms is a heartfelt call to find our home in the things that are truly of most value.
Jo Swinney knows what it means to be a nomad – to have a heart expanded from pursuit of a hundred horizons, yet feel heartsick for a patch of cultural and spiritual ground to call ‘mine’. In Home she weaves a fabric of rich, poignant, and often hilarious stories that touch our own deep longing to belong, showing us along the way that contentment may be found in more places than we’ve imagined.
In Swinney I’ve found a favourite spiritual writer, and in Home I’ve found a book I will return to again and again. These are wonderfully grounding words for a restless, transient age.
This book is a rich, thought provoking reflection on our sense of home. Drawing together personal story with biblical reflections we are taken on an inner journey which asks us to think about what home is for us, where we belong and who we really are. Highly recommended! (Paula R Gooder)
A heart-ache of a book, evoking and exploring our deepest human yearning to return, and to be, and to find our way home. (Pete Greig)
The deep yearning for home lives in every single one of us. Whether it be the safe place where we can go as our undefended self without fear of being rejected or the whisper of a parent in our soul, we long for a place to be us. Jo Swinney’s book interweaves the threads of her own story and the Bible’s wisdom on the subject of home and in so doing creates a beautiful tapestry of hopefulness for us about what home might be. Jo reminds us that God has a place called home for each of us which is close to his heart and where we are finally and fully accepted for who we are. Her words evoke in us the whispered possibility that even the most lost of us can find a way home, because he has found a way to us. (Rev’d Malcolm Duncan)
Home is more than a roof over your head, as I discover every day working to find adoptive and foster homes for children in the care system. Reading Jo’s graceful book will inspire us not only to appreciate something more of our own homes, but perhaps also help us to recognise the incredible privilege it is to offer others the home they so desperately need. (Krish Kandiah)
Jo’s book is compassionate, compelling and relatable. Writing from a deeply personal perspective she speaks into the heart of what it means to be human. (Rev Kate Bottley – Priest and Gogglebox star)
A moving book – about moving home and more. Like Jo and so many of the people whose stories are told in this book, I had a peripatetic childhood, travelling around England and abroad. Around us, there seems to be no end to the streams of refugees, homeless people or those trapped in unhappy homes. For some, the search to find ‘home’ is more troubled than others but we are all on that quest. Jo’s beautifully-written book, which draws on Scripture and other Christian teachings, is simply wonderful to have as a reflection and guide on the journey. (Ruth Gledhill Christian Today)