Can you go home again? That’s a question Dana, my main character in the Blossom Valley Mysteries, finds herself asking in the first book of the series.
She grew up in Blossom Valley but left to attend college in the Bay Area. After graduation, she found a marketing job at a computer software company and is finally starting to feel like an adult as she pays her own rent and buys her own groceries, with no parents to report to when she wants to stay out late on a work night.
Then she’s unexpectedly laid off. Facing the high cost of rent and no income, she’s at a loss as to where to go. The obvious choice is home, but can she really return? Wouldn’t she be admitting failure as she creeps back to her small town with her tail between her legs, unable to make it as a grown-up in the big, bad world?
With no other options, she packs her bags and heads to Blossom Valley, telling herself she’s really doing it to help her mother, who hasn’t quite recovered from Dana’s father’s death several months before. But deep down, she’s filled with uncertainly, especially when she moves back into her room and sleeps in her twin-sized bed, one more reminder that she hasn’t escaped her childhood.
But as Dana settles in and finds a job at a nearby organic farm, she starts to realize something. While she may have gone home again, it’s not the same home. Sure, her mother still fusses over her and her sister annoys her relentlessly, just as she did when they were kids, but it’s different now. Dana has more freedom than she anticipated. When she stays out late, her mom doesn’t comment. When she wants to dine out with friends at the last minute instead of eat with her family, that’s okay too. Her hometown isn’t the prison she imagined it would be.
All the roads and buildings might look the same, but Dana is now seeing them from a different perspective, one of hope and possibilities. Suddenly, she’s quite glad she decided to go home again. She has a feeling it’s where she belongs.