Jo Swinney's exploration of the idea of home is a heartfelt blend of personal memoir and deep pondering on this important question that will help us all in the quest to find somewhere we belong.
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 is an author and speaker, the editor of Preach magazine, and a regular contributor to the website Christian Today. She lives in southwest London with her husband, an Anglican clergyman, and their two children.
For Jo Swinney, who currently resides in Surbiton, but has lived in five countries, three continents and 28 properties (give or take) in her 38 years, the question of what makes a home, and the quest to find one, is profound.
'cheering, thoughtful stuff.'
— Helen Davies, The Sunday Times
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 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
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.
— Sheridan Voysey
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
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
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
Beautifully written and meticulously researched... The book is at times moving, at times laugh out loud funny... Her reflections often plumb spiritual depths. — Christian Today
Interweaving a retelling of her own story with theological and psychological insights, Jo's exploration of home in all its forms is a call to find our home in the things that are truly of most value. — The Door
Frank and poignant... [an] authentic exploration of home. — Inspire Magazine
A clever interweaving of her story, the life of David, and the lessons she has learned about finding home... It's well worth a read - she's got an easy, relaxed style, and some fascinating insights. — Jennie Pollock
It's a book that asks questions of us, that might help us to seek direction, and challenges us - but in a gentle way and with the encouragement of one who has walked the journey before, and with the truth of God at its centre. — Jules Middleton
Self-awareness and wisdom... infuses the book. Jo writes with a disarming and, at times, uncomfortable candour - but the net result is a warm and engaging read. — Richard Littledale
She gives a fresh insight and understanding to those who may struggle to find a place to belong... This book has opened my eyes to the people that I see every day and ask new questions. — Ruth Clemence
She reflects throughout the book on issues of family, place, culture, faith, identity and work, weaving her questions and thoughts skilfully through her own story and linking them with characters from the Bible. — Amy Turner
This fascinating book... is written in an engaging manner and the stories it tells could very easily be our stories. — Methodist Recorder
It resonated with me.. I found it challenging and fascinating. — Premier Radio
This is an interesting book, which has been designed for popular use by a book or study group seeking to explore more deeply the roots of 'home' and its biblical parallels. It addresses questions at the very heart of existence from a Christian perspective and draws parallels both with popular culture and scripture. — Life and Work Magazine
Through an often humorous exploration of her own life and the places she's lived, her book is a meditation on the meaning of this powerful word... There is rich storytelling, with brilliant little details from the author's childhood. But it is serious too, clear sighted and honest about life's difficulties. — The Church Times
This book may well be able to give you the gentle guidance that you need to begin to feel at home in yourself and your circumstances. — Rob Allwright, One Man In The Middle
It's a real help to reflect on what's important and what gives us that sense of belonging... I now feel better about the idea of home. I am sure other people would find this book helpful too. — Families First Magazine