Monday 24 September 2012

Coming Home

Coming Home by Sharon McGuinness, illustrated by Shannon Melville (Wombat Books)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN 9781921633775
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Coming Home is a sensitive and wonderfully told story of Gemma who notices Dad sitting alone in the garden, day after day. She wonders why he does not play with her anymore. Reassurance from her mother that it is not her fault but her father’s depressive illness helps Gemma to understand. She maintains her connection with her father, despite his seeming indifference, and he eventually recovers.

The illustrations reflect and extend the text. Initially, in shades of black and white, Shannon Melville introduces more and more colour as Dad recovers from his depression to embrace his daughter, family and life. Even the endpapers are part of his journey with the front papers showing black and white weeds and the ones at the back showing glorious, bright pictures of flowers and butterflies.

This book does not intend to explain the reasons for depression or the treatments available. Rather, it assists children, and others, to understand depression and how the support and love from those closest to the sufferer can assist recovery. Coming Home has been endorsed by Black Dog Institute. Sharon McGuinness is also donating her author royalties to this very essential organisation, a world leader in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mood disorders.

Sharon McGuinness will officially launch Coming Home at Thirroul Library on Saturday October 6. 


  1. I am touched by how the illustrator tells the story through her illustrations. The way the colour and chosen illustrations build into the climax and resolve, is brilliant.


    1. I agree, Liezl. Shannon Melville, the illustrator, has done an exceptional job with such a sensitive issue. The combination of the text and illustrations tells this story in a very special way.


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