The Only Way Home by Jeanette Minniti

I don’t want a handout, ma’am. I can do any kind of work and I’d rather work for my supper if you don’t mind” – Robert

Minniti, J. The Only Way Home, Penning Press, 2021.

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The main character of this book is a boy named Robert. Robert is need of work and he started hopping freight trains going to different states to find it. The book takes place during the Great Depression, where young men had to leave home and support their families. Robert was no exception. When Robert’s father fell ill and died, it became the boy’s responsibility to get out and go find work.

Thus, the adventure begins.

While finishing up his supper one evening, Robert gets arrested by the local sheriff. He has to spend the night in jail and a better part of the next day in a courtroom. The sheriff ends up taking pity for the boy and claimed responsibility for him. After the sheriff fed Robert, he then took Robert to the county line where Georgia meets Alabama and was told to never set foot in Macon, GA again.

Feeling discouraged, Robert heads home. Now home, Illinois, is very far from Alabama. That is when Robert meets Tucker, another young boy looking for work. Robert and Tucker spent the rest of the book together trying to find work, finding work, and simply trying to survive. They encounter some good times and they encounter their fair share of misfortunes. The boys share one common goal; make money and reunite with the family they left behind.

There was an instance when the boys got separated while hopping freight trains. Tucker ended up injury himself and missed the train that Robert was already on. You could feel the conflict of the war Robert was facing within himself. He was happy to be one step closer to home, but Tucker’s same dream became shattered when he missed the train. Once the train stopped, Robert made up in his mind to look for Tucker, and he found him.

You kinda of a dope for coming back.You know that, don’t you? – Tucker

Minniti, J. The Only Way Home, Penning Press, 2021.

I liked Robert’s character. He is strong willed, hardworking, and a genuine friend. He is also one hell of a violinist.


I appreciated the growth that was displayed with his character. The author has a way of really capturing the essence of a person’s character and bringing it to life. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, and towards the end I found myself full of joy. You feel his love and concern coming from his mother, Lucille. We got to see a glimpse into her head to see what she thought about all of this.

I will say this, the novel made me appreciate times we are living in now. Back then having a few bucks to your name was hard time to come by, but in today’s time you can easily blow through a couple hundred in a week. That era makes you appreciate the value of a dollar and appreciate how easy it is to find a job now, compared to way back when.

I highly recommend everyone to read this book. If you think you are struggling to make ends meet, this book will make you realize you probably aren’t. This book will remind of the beauty of letting your kids be kids. I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by this author.

BOOK REVIEW TOUR: The Only Way Home by Jeanette Minniti5/16/20212 Comments TOUR FULLJoin us for this tour from July 6 to July 19, 2021!​Book Details:

Book Title:  The Only Way Home by Jeanette Minniti
Category: Adult Fiction (18 +) , 242 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adventure, Coming of Age
Publisher:  Penning Press
Release date:   4/1/2021
Format available for review:  print – softback, e-book (mobi file (for Kindle), ePub)
Will send print books out:  USA 
Content Rating: PG + M. My book is rated PG+M for a brief attempted rape scene. The main character, male, is laying down in a field on a ranch, with his eyes closed. A male worker comes up to him and turns him over but before anything more can happen someone saves him. One other scene where Tucker is accosted by someone with a knife briefly…but is then saved by Robert. The man with the knife yells out β€œ bastards” to them.
Book Description:

Desperate times. Danger on the rails. A journey to save a family.

It is 1933 inside a sweltering courtroom in Macon, Georgia. Fifteen-year-old Robert sits on a bench awaiting sentencing after being picked up for vagrancy and spending a night in jail. He left his home in Illinois with a neighborhood friend to ride the rails and find work to help their families. The friend turned back, too afraid to face the perils ahead. But going back empty-handed isn’t an option for Robert.

THE ONLY WAY HOME is the story of one boy’s determination to survive loss and hardship to help his family β€” and how fate and a violin touch the course of his life.

Fans of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and Sold On a Monday by Kristina Morris will love this story set during the Great Depression of a fatherless boy fighting to keep his family together.​.​

Jeanette Minniti is a writer living in Colorado. She received an MA in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Colorado, Boulder

She is a member of the Historical Novel Society, Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers and Lighthouse Writers in Denver.

With a background in journalism, her creative writing interest gravitated to historical fiction. Her first manuscript The Only Way Home, now a published novel by Penning Press, was a finalist in the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Colorado Gold Writing Contest and the Pikes Peak Writers Zebulon Contest.

As a member of the American Association of University Women, she coordinates the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions discussion group and participates in several AAUW interest groups. 

Jeanette and her husband enjoy all that Colorado renders in outdoor activities including hiking and biking.

Jeanette Minniti | Author of THE ONLY WAY HOME

Jeanette Minniti – Home | Facebook

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