All the Children Are Home

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Published by: Harper Perennial
Release Date: April 13, 2021
Pages: 448
ISBN13: 978-0063045446



Set in the 1950s and 60s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family--Dahlia, Louie and the foster children they’re raising as their own--through twelve tumultuous years.

Dahlia, who is the heart of the family, had a few caveats when she decided to become a foster mother: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident the summer before she was to leave for college left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl’s life.

A decade later, all of Dahlia’s conditions have been broken and the Moscatellis have become parents to three children in long term care. They consider their family complete. But when the social worker asks them to take a six-year-old indigenous girl as a two-week emergency placement, their lives are irrevocably changed.

Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her heritage or her past beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother, a few dreamlike memories of her lost sister and the hateful litany she heard daily from the foster father who terrorized her. She soon forms a deep bond with the Moscatellis. When the time comes for her to move to the next home, none of them can bear to see her go.

To Zaidie, Agnes will become the sister she never had, to Jon a playmate whose zest for life matches his own, and to Jimmy, the one for whom he will risk everything to protect from the man who continues to threaten her. But perhaps her most complicated bond will be with Dahlia, the mother who inspired her children to fly while she herself hid in the house, trapped by a secret she shared with no one.

As the years pass and the children grow up, the family must contend with outside forces that want to tear them apart as well as the legacy and longings that haunt them and make them who they are. Heartfelt and enthralling, All the Children Are Home is a moving testament to the enduring power of love in the face of devastating loss.

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“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.” ~ Jenna Blum, NYT bestselling author of THE LOST FAMILY and THOSE WHO SAVE US

"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."
--Caroline Leavitt, New York times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With You or Without You

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.
~Bryn Greenwood, NYT bestselling author of The Reckless Oath We Made and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

"Such a storytelling talent, and such a story! The tale revolves around Agnes Juniper, a Native American child who comes with almost – but not quite – nothing, to be cared for by Dahlia, a foster-mother whose hearth is home to many abandoned young souls. Francis cleverly allows each character talk and move and grow at their own pace. The rhythms are that of family life 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 for the first time, all in the round."
--Frances Liardet, New York Times bestselling author of We Must Be Brave

"Patry Francis has created characters to love, real people with real problems. Your heart will beat with theirs, break with theirs, mend with theirs."
--Lauren Wolk, award winning author of Wolf Hollow and Echo Mountain

"Heartfelt and deeply hopeful, All the Children Are Home is the story you want when the world overwhelms. One Massachusetts town might look askance at the Moscatelli family, but readers will root for Dahlia’s transcendent love, Jimmy’s fierce loyalty, Zaidie’s take-no-prisoners determination, and Agnes’ irrepressible joy."
--Laura McBride, author of We Are Called to Rise and The Midnight Room

""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."
--Jessica Keener, author of Strangers in Budapest

"Patry Francis has written a book with an explosion of remarkable voices in All the Children Are Home. This novel is a story of motherhood and childhood and great courage.....a triumph."
– Patricia Dann, author of The Wright Sister




I used to think that if I just stayed home I would be safe. So when the chance come, I struck a deal with a boy so homely and tongue-tied no one else would have him: I’d put some kind of supper on the table and sleep in his bed every night and he’d bring me jigsaws, and teetering stacks of books from the library and never ask me to leave the house again. Louie was just nineteen. And me--I was even younger, though I hadn’t felt like a girl in a long time.

Then one night I woke up to a particular kind of lonesome, one that couldn’t be answered by him or the people who kept company with me on the TV, or the ones that moved between my books and my head and sometimes deeper. It was the ache that wants a child, and no matter how I tried to shoo it out, it wouldn’t leave.

That’s when I found out there was no safe place. That even locked up in my six rooms, I’d never stopped traveling. And what’s more, there was some kind of unseen direction to it all. What it was--and why--well, I wouldn’t begin to understand that till the kids were practically grown. And most I don’t expect to know in this lifetime.
But once I got a glimpse, everyone looked different. Louie and the boy my loneliness drug to the door and all the rest that followed. It was like there was a radiance to them. I only wish I’d seen it sooner. I only wish everyone could see it.