I Am Homeless If This Is Not My Home

Knopf. Jun. 2023. 208p. ISBN 9780307594143. $27. F
Finn, a history teacher who has been suspended from his job at an exclusive prep school for somewhat murky reasons, drives to the Bronx to visit his dying brother in hospice. While there, he receives an urgent phone call to return home, where his ex-girlfriend Lily has died by suicide. Visiting her grave, Finn is surprised to find a reanimated Lily there, he embarks with her on a road trip south, where Lily wants to be taken to have her body donated for forensic science. Interspersed with this story are letters from a woman who runs a boarding house in the post–Civil War south, and in particular her interactions with a mysterious boarder who may just be an important figure in U.S. history. The connection to the main story eventually becomes apparent.
VERDICT This is an unashamedly weird (but also funny) novel, but if readers can get beyond the morbid premise, there is much enjoyment to be had with Moore’s unique style, particularly the extended, loopy dialogue, replete with wordplay, song lyrics, conspiracy theories, literary and pop culture references. By its end, it becomes a moving tale of longing, grief, and acceptance.
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