All the Children Are Home : A Novel
Author(s): Patry Francis
A sweeping saga in the vein of Ask Again, Yes following a foster family through almost a decade of dazzling triumph and wrenching heartbreak—from the author of The Orphans at Race Point.
Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family—Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon—and the irrevocable changes in their lives when a six-year-old indigenous girl, Agnes, comes to live with them.
When Dahlia decided to become a foster mother, she had a few caveats: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident years before left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl’s life.
Eleven years after they began fostering, Dahlia and Louie consider their family complete, but when the social worker begs them to take a young girl who has been horrifically abused and neglected, they can’t say no.
Six-year-old Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her Native American heritage or herself beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother and dreamlike memories of her sister. As the years pass and outside forces threaten to tear them apart, the children, now young adults, must find the courage and resilience to save themselves and each other. Heartfelt and enthralling, All the Children Are Home is a moving testament to the enduring power of love in the face of devastating loss.
"The shifting viewpoints and well-rounded characters coalesce to create a tragic and resilient image of an atypical family. This powerful and deeply moving story deserves a wide audience. "
"With All the Children Are Home, Patry Francis unspools the sort of heartbreak we only see in the periphery of the news: broken families, abandoned children, lives destroyed by cruelty and violence. As the Moscatelli family gains and loses an assortment of foster children, it also becomes a story that wrests hope and joy out of dark moments, reminding us that family does not require kinship. True family is built of love and perseverance. If this incredibly moving book doesn't bring you to tears, I worry you've misplaced your heart."
"A shattering story of how the human spirit can surmount any odds. Gorgeously written, profound, and so inspiring it could be a road map of how to live."
“This moving novel grabs you by the heart right away and doesn’t let go, celebrating the strength of the children who survive tragedy, the adults who take them in and love them, and the diverse families we make not from the people we might be born to but the people who are there and care.”
"Like Dahlia with her foster-children, Francis cleverly allows each character talk and move and grow at their own pace. The rhythms of the story are those of family life: the stories and relationships grow over the stretch of years, and at the end we feel as a young adult feels when they are on the brink of leaving home: we suddenly look back see it all for the first time, all in the round."
"At the heart of Patry Francis’ brilliant new novel is a gorgeous and powerful exploration of unconditional love--masterful in scope and saturated with breathtaking truths on every page. A timeless story set in the 1950s, All the Children Are Home embraces the many voices of the Moscatelli’s foster children and their foster mother—all of them harmed by trauma, abuse and, most of all—abandonment—as they wrestle with the darkest forces of humanity and forge their way toward the light."
“Patry Francis has written a book with an explosion of remarkable voices. There are two hearts to the story - the wise and vulnerable children who survive and thrive in extraordinary circumstances and the foster mother who understands them in a way nobody else ever could. How Patry Francis stitches their lives together is a triumph.”