RELEASING AUGUST 24TH, 2021
“Lyricism with a punk rock edge.” —Mary Helen Specht, author of Migratory Animals
“On Home artfully complicates the familiar Appalachian escape narrative.” —Jessie Van Eerden, author of Call it Horses
When tragedy strikes, Cassidy, a cam girl living in Southern California, must return to the small West Virginia town she left behind. Cassidy likes her job getting naked for men on camera, though she prefers sex with women. She never came out to her family or friends back in her home state—not about her sexuality and certainly not about her sex work. Now, she must figure out how to hold on to the life she’s built for herself while picking up the pieces of her fractured family.
As Cassidy’s story unfolds, we glimpse into the lives of the strong, complicated women who came before her: Jane, the sheltered daughter of farmers, escapes West Virginia for Washington, DC to work as a Government Girl for the FBI during World War II, until a fateful mistake threatens her future. Paloma, a Fulbright Scholar, journeys to newly Westernized Prague—only to fall for an idealistic but safe man from West Virginia.
Though worlds and generations apart, all three search for meaning as they face impending motherhood and the pull to return home to rural Appalachia.
More advance praise for On Home:
“A beautiful, incredibly moving story about how to craft a home deeply rooted in so much more than the land it’s set on. I couldn’t put it down.” —Juliet McDaniel, author of Mr. & Mrs. American Pie
“A story about the joy found in the present moment. From embracing the anchor of unconditional love. And ultimately, from becoming part of the shared history that makes a place truly our home.” —Donna Meredith, Associate Editor of Southern Literary Review
“Spence Dobias beautifully explores the secrets and anxieties echoing through three generations of women wrestling with unexpected, life-altering choices. On Home will keep you thinking about how expectations and environment can shape women’s lives and what happens when they attempt to upend both.” —Cindy Gueli, author of Lipstick Brigade: The Untold True Story of Washington’s World War II Government Girls
“A masterful work that shapes new and vital conceptions of Appalachia as ‘true’ homeplace. On Home brings a rich craft to a story that is desperately needed and deeply poignant in the telling.” —Nicholas F. Stump, author of Remaking Appalachia
“Told with humor and heartbreak in equal measure, On Home is a complex portrayal of women’s work on the margins. Spence Dobias brings each woman in this novel, and their secrets, to luminous life. In prose that combines lyricism with a punk rock edge, On Home portrays the most surprising events with nuance and genuine insight. This book is a gem.” —Mary Helen Specht, author of Migratory Animals