Homecoming by Isabel Ashdown @Tr4cyF3nt0n

Welcome to The Starlings… sun, sea and neighbours to die for.

Security, a sparkling sea view and the best kind of neighbours – The Starlings gated community has it all. Here, doors are left open, children run free, and at the heart of it all is the entrepreneurial Gold Family, who first dreamed up this aspirational vision of ‘Dorset’s Safest Community’. To the outside world the popular family appears glitteringly blessed… until an idyllic party takes a dark turn and one of their number is found slumped at the foot of the clocktower. Who knows what really happened? And what answers are harboured within the old building, the former Highcap Mother and Baby Home?’

A mesmerising, character-rich thriller with a long-buried secret vibrating at its core: this is Isabel Ashdown at her heart-stopping best, for readers who enjoyed Big Little Lies, Dr Foster or Little Fires Everywhere

Isabel Ashdown is a favourite author of mine and so I was delighted to be asked to be on the blog tour for Homecoming so huge thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting me. I always find this authors books to be compelling reads and Homecoming lived up to my expectations by delivering a gripping story set within an idyllic gated community.

The Starlings gated community actually sounds too good to be true. People feel safe from crime and are smugly living their best lives with the right sort of neighbours! But under the surface can anything really be that perfect?

I loved everything about this book! It’s a bit of a slow burner but that gives you time to get to know the residents of The Starlings. And a weird and wonderful bunch they are too! I’m not sure I particularly liked any of them but I was gripped by their lives and what brought them to the supposedly safe environment by the coast. The arrival of a new resident sets in action a domino effect that leads to some nasty revelations about the mother and baby home that used to be on the site.

Isabel Ashdown writes so beautifully that you are immediately transported into her narrative and the mystery of what happened in the mother and baby home and how it relates to the those characters now living on the former site. The incident that everything leads up to is both shocking and unexpected, certainly not the path I thought I was following which was a surprise!

Homecoming is a family drama with a compelling mystery at its heart. I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for a new Isabel Ashdown and I definitely took my time, savouring every word whilst reading. And it’s definitely made me want to live in the middle of nowhere without one single neighbour anywhere near me!

Homecoming was published by Orion on 24th November 2022.

Isabel Ashdown is the author of eight novels, including her Amazon bestselling thriller LITTLE SISTER and Mail on Sunday Novel Competition Winning debut GLASSHOPPER. Two of her latest novels have been shortlisted in the prestigious Dead Good Reader Awards, and in several translations, her dark family dramas continue to hook readers across the globe. Her latest ‘ingenious thriller’ (Sunday Times), 33 WOMEN, is out now – an Amazon Bestseller within its first month of sale.

Isabel was born in London and grew up on the south coast, where she now lives with her family and their two dogs, Charlie and Leonard. She is a full-time novelist, a Royal Literary Fund associate, and, when lockdown allows, a creative writer tutor and festival speaker. When not writing, Isabel can be found walking the south coast beaches and hills, bingeing a boxset or sewing in the company of a good audiobook.

You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Published by


I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.