In this novel a mother sets out on a trip with her four children Dicey 13 James 12 Maybeth 8 and Sammy 6 to vist an aunt in Bridgeport Connecticut Halfway through the trip the mother pulls off into a mall parking lot where she leaves the children and tells them to listen to their older sister Dicey After a day passes and they all realize that their mother is not going to return Dicey decides to continue on foot with the children to Bridgeport in search of their aunt The siblings begin their journey on foot with only a map a change of underwear and seven dollars The journey is a long a hard one for the siblings scrounging to buy food as cheaply as possible changing along the side of the road and staying in empty houses for shelter Once the children run out of money they decide to try and earn money by carrying grocery bags and wash windows in a grocery parking lot under the direction of their sister Dicey
They continue their journey to Bridgeport when they earn enough money Once they arrive at their Aunt Cilla s house they discover that she is dead and their cousin Eunice is now living in Aunt Cilla s house Eunice is a devout Catholic that is driven by her routine Eunice does not give the best first impression to the children but quickly concludes that she will take the children in and care for them Dicey also quickly notices that Eunice s kindness and Christian duty comes at a price Dicey notices that as long as the children are well behaved and Dicey helps maintain the house by caring for the kids cooking and cleaning they will all have a place to stay however once the kids get in the way of Eunice s routine the kids are in danger of losing their place to stay or being separated Dicey decides that Eunice s price is too high to risk breaking up her family so she decides to move on Dicey learns that they have a grandmother in a nearby town so the children set out to find the grandmother in hopes of finding a new home
Once they arrive at the grandmother's house the grandmother reluctantly takes them in but insists that it is a temporary situation After spending some time with the children and having a conversation with Dicey the grandmother decides to allow the children to stay Dicey is the leader in the story The story indicates that Dicey was most likely accustomed to taking on the role of an adult in her family due to her mother's mental illness and her father leaving the family Once the mother leaves the story indicates that although Dicey is overwhelmed by the responsibility of taking care of her family she is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her family together By the end of the story Dicey seems to be relieved that she and her siblings have convinced her grandmother to allow them to stay Throughout the story youth is a central theme Dicey and her siblings have to make tough decisions Many of these decisions would be tough for adults to make so although they are young in age they are living a very adult existence The theme of the siblings youth is a central theme of the story because they quickly realize that they are at a disadvantage because they are kids living in a very adult world Another common theme of this book is abandonment
The Tillerman siblings quickly conclude that they are the kind of people that people go off from They determine this because their father left them and their mother left Dicey and the siblings are constantly having to deal with the overwhelming responsibility of caring for themselves and making adult decisions although they are children Dicey is constantly analyzing situations in an effort to keep her siblings safe and out of harm's way Family is also an important theme in this story The Tillerman kids realize by talking to their grandmother that the dysfunction of the family goes back generations The conversation that Dicey has with her grandmother seems to help her understand her own internal convictions and seem to help her better understand the dysfunction in her family Throughout their journey they realize the importance of taking care of the family and keeping it together The story the homecoming was a very interesting story that has you clutching your seat at times because of all of the dangerous run ins during the kids journey to Aunt Cilla s house and to Grandma Abigail s house Dicey and her siblings have to make very grown up and difficult decisions I personally could not imagine waking up one day and not having my mother or father I am not sure that I would have been able to survive as well as they all did in this story The fact that they were all able to make the journey and safely arrive at Aunt Cilla s house as well as their grandmother s house shows fierce determination and ingenuity Dicey demonstrates great leadership abilities great intuition and an incredible amount of strength throughout the entire story
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