Come Home: A Novel

Come Home: A Novel

by Lisa Scottoline

Paperback(First Edition)

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Lisa Scottoline has delivered taut thrillers with a powerful emotional wallop in her New York Times bestsellers Save Me, Think Twice, and Look Again. Now, with her new novel, Come Home, she ratchets up the suspense with the riveting story of a mother who sacrifices her future for a child from her past.

Jill Farrow is a typical suburban mom who has finally gotten her and her daughter's lives back on track after a divorce. She is about to remarry, her job as a pediatrician fulfills her—-though it is stressful—-and her daughter, Megan, is a happily over-scheduled thirteen-year-old juggling homework and the swim team.

But Jill's life is turned upside down when her ex-stepdaughter, Abby, shows up on her doorstep late one night and delivers shocking news: Jill's ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees to make a few inquiries and discovers that things don't add up. As she digs deeper, her actions threaten to rip apart her new family, destroy their hard-earned happiness, and even endanger her own life. Yet Jill can't turn her back on a child she loves and once called her own.

Come Home reads with the breakneck pacing of a thriller while also exploring the definition of motherhood, asking the questions: Do you ever stop being a mother? Can you ever have an ex-child? What are the limits to love of family?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250023292
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 154,738
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award—winning author of eighteen novels. She has served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America and her recent novel Look Again has been optioned for a feature film. She is a weekly columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer and her columns have been collected in two books and optioned for television. She has 25 million copies of her books in print in the United States, and she has been published in thirty countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date of Birth:

July 1, 1955

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


Jill stopped on the stairway, listening. She thought she heard a voice calling her from outside, but she’d been wrong before. It was probably the rushing of the rain, or the lash of the wind through the trees. Still, she listened, hoping.

“Babe?” Sam paused on the stair, resting his hand on the banister. He looked back at her, his eyes a puzzled blue behind his glasses. “Did you forget your phone?”

“No, I thought I heard something.” Jill didn’t elaborate. She was in her forties, old enough to have a past and wise enough to keep her thoughts about it to herself.

“What?” Sam asked, patiently. It was almost midnight, and they’d been on their way to bed. The house was dark except for the glass fixture above the stairwell, and the silvery strands in Sam’s thick, dark hair glinted in the low light. Their chubby golden retriever, Beef, was already upstairs, looking down at them from the landing, his buttery ears falling forward.

“It’s nothing, I guess.” Jill started back up the stairs, but Beef swung his head toward the front of the house and gave an excited bark. His tail started to wag, and Jill turned, too, listening again.

Jill! Jill!

“It’s Abby!” Jill heard it for sure, this time. The cry resonated in her chest, speaking directly to her heart. She turned around and hurried for the entrance hall, and Beef scampered downstairs after her, his heavy butt getting ahead of him, like a runaway tractor-trailer.

“Abby who?” Sam called after her. “Your ex’s kid?”

“Yes.” Jill reached the front door, twisted the deadbolt, flicked on the porch light, and threw open the door. Abby wasn’t there, and Jill didn’t see her because it was so dark. There were no streetlights at this end of the block, and the rain obliterated the outlines of the houses and cars, graying out the suburban scene. Suddenly, a black SUV with only one headlight drove past, spotlighting a silhouette that Jill would know anywhere. It was Abby, but she was staggering down the sidewalk as if she’d been injured.

“Sam, call 911!” Jill bolted out of the house and into the storm, diagnosing Abby on the fly. It could have been a hit-and-run, or an aneurysm. Not a stroke, Abby was too young. Not a gunshot or stab wound, in this neighborhood.

Jill tore through the rain. Beef bounded ahead, barking in alarm. The neighbor’s motion-detector went on, casting a halo of light on their front lawn. Abby stumbled off the sidewalk. Her purse slipped from her shoulder and dropped to the ground. Abby took a few more faltering steps, then collapsed, crumpling to the grass.

“Abby!” Jill screamed, sprinting to Abby’s side, kneeling down. Abby was conscious, but crying. Jill reached for her pulse and scanned her head and body for signs of injury, and there were none. Rainwater covered Abby’s face, streaking her mascara and blackening her tears. Her hair stuck to her neck, and rain plastered her thin sundress to her body. Her pulse felt strong and steady, bewildering Jill. “Abby, Abby, what is it?”

“You have to … hold me.” Abby raised her arms. “Please.”

Jill gathered Abby close, shielding her from the rain. She’d held Abby so many times before, and all the times rushed back at her, as if her very body had stored the memories, until that very moment. Jill flashed on the time Abby had fallen off her Rollerblades, breaking an ankle. Then the time Abby had gotten a C on her trig final. The time she didn’t get picked for the travel soccer team. Abby had always been a sensitive little girl, but she wasn’t a little girl anymore, and Jill had never seen her cry so hard.

“Abby, honey, please, tell me, and I can help.”

“I can’t say it … it’s so awful.” Abby sobbed, and Jill caught a distinct whiff of alcohol on her breath and came up to speed. Abby wasn’t injured, she’d been drinking. Jill hadn’t seen her in three years, and Abby had grown up; she’d be nineteen now. Abby sobbed harder. “Jill, Dad’s dead … he’s dead.”

What?” Jill gasped, shocked. Her ex-husband was in excellent health, still in his forties. “How?”

“Somebody … killed him.” Abby dissolved into tears, her body going limp, clinging to Jill. “Please, you have to … help me. I have to find out … who did it.”

Jill hugged her closer, feeling her grief and struggling to process what had happened. She couldn’t imagine William as a murder victim, or a victim of any kind, for that matter, but her first thought was of his daughters, Abby and Victoria, and her own daughter, Megan. The news would devastate all of them, Megan included. William was her stepfather, but the only father she’d ever known. Her real father had died before she was born.

“Babe, what are you doing? Let’s get her into the house!” Sam shouted, to be heard over the rain. He was kneeling on Abby’s other side, though Jill didn’t know when he’d gotten there.

“William’s been murdered,” Jill told him, sounding numb, even to herself.

“I heard. We’re not calling 911, she’s just drunk.” Sam squinted against the brightness of the motion-detector light. Raindrops soaked his hair and dappled his polo shirt. “Let me take her arm. Lift her on one, two, three,” he counted off, tugging Abby’s arm.

“Okay, go.” Jill took Abby’s other arm, and together they hoisted her, sobbing, to her feet, gathered her purse, and half walked and half carried her toward the house, sloshing through the grass, with Beef at their heels.

Jill tried to collect her thoughts, which were in turmoil. She’d always dreamed of seeing Abby again, but not in these circumstances, and she dreaded telling Megan about William. But as agonized as she felt for the girls, Jill wouldn’t shed a tear for her ex-husband. There was a reason she had divorced the man, and it was a whopper.

And evidently, not only the good died young.


Copyright © 2012 by Lisa Scottoline

Reading Group Guide

A Letter from Lisa Scottoline

I'm so happy to have the chance to talk with you more informally, outside the four corners of this book, to tell you something about what inspired the novel. Not every author is as confessional as I am but I find that the more I write—for twenty years, now—the more I connect with my readers; I bring the emotions that I've experienced in real life to power my fiction and to give it greater dramatic impact. More importantly, if the novel is powered by real emotions, from life-changing events like this one, I think the reader feels it, which gives the book a deeper meaning of its own. To me, the highest and best purpose of fiction is to connect us, one to the other, and to reinforce the commonality of human experience. At bottom, great fiction tells you that you're not alone in the world—you feel that at soul-level, in the most subtle of ways, through plot, character, and narrative drive. So here's a little background on what inspired me to write Come Home.

Many of my more recent novels, probably starting with Look Again and continuing to Save Me and, now, Come Home, have explored the parameters of motherhood. I've been a single mother for most of my life and my relationship with my daughter Francesca means so much to me in so many ways, but now that she's up and out of the house I find myself pondering the subject of motherhood more and more. Part of this is because I'm a mother, and part is because I'm a daughter, too. Those of you who have read the humorous memoirs that Francesca and I write together, like Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, will know that I was raised by a strong, feisty, and funny mother, who I call Mother Mary; and she has been, in many ways, my loving, if occasionally cranky, lodestar for this examination.

But I have a life experience that Mother Mary never had, in that after almost ten years of being a single mother I got married again—to a man with three daughters. And so I became stepmother to three children. Two of my stepdaughters lived with us and getting to know them, love them, and become their stepmother was an amazing and interesting, if occasionally challenging, experience. Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last, ending in divorce; by that point, my stepdaughters were in college, but suffice it to say that my period of stepmotherhood has effectively ended.

Now that's an interesting experience, for someone who regards herself as a mother, first and foremost. It led naturally to all sorts of questions that you will find lurking in the subtext of Come Home, such as: Is it possible to be an ex-mother? Do you ever really stop being a mother? What are the boundaries of stepparenthood? How does it begin, and how does it end, if it does? Do you trade past for present, where children are involved? Do you owe a stepchild the same duty you owe your children, beyond the marriage? How can a tie that grows organically from love be influenced by law, much less severed?

I don't think these questions are often discussed in public, or in fiction, though becoming a stepmother, and becoming an ex-stepmother, is a common experience these days. For better or for worse, marriages aren't lasting through better or worse, and children are always affected, albeit in varying degrees. This underlying uneasiness with families reconfiguring and recombining has been called blending, but as you can see in Come Home, trying to blend a family can sometimes turn it into a dog's dinner, especially when the unexpected happens, as it does in the novel.

And somehow, when there are disparate elements to be reconciled in families, my experience has been that it's usually the mother who provides the glue. It isn't an easy task, and in Come Home, Jill struggles mightily with it, not only when she has to choose to fit her former stepdaughter Abby back into her life, but also later, when she has to deal with Sam's apparent resentment over the fact that she hasn't been making time for his son. Consider that Jill is a mom with a child of her own, former stepchildren, and a current stepson. Anybody who's been in that position knows that that's more plates in the air than most moms can handle. I suspect, too, that if you haven't been in that position, you can relate to it anyway; because, in my experience, women are somehow always making sure that everybody in the room is happy and healthy, whether they're tied by blood, by law, or not at all. Myself, I am generally responsible for the health and welfare of most of the tristate area, and I bet you are, too.

So that's the secret thinking behind Come Home that led me to want to explore the subject more deeply, and in fiction. As I said in the Acknowledgments of the novel, the characters in Come Home are not my own family, or ex-family, or real people at all, and that, again, is the great merit of fiction. Books enable us to go deeper into our emotions and the everyday crises that keep us on the telephone with our girlfriends, with our mothers, or even with the other members of our book clubs. I always think that as society becomes increasingly more complex and spread out, the explosion of book clubs proves that people look to fiction to bring them together, not all only to each other, but ultimately to themselves.

I feel honored that you are reading Come Home and I'm very grateful for your support. Thank you for your time. I hope that you enjoyed reading it, and that you will give my other books a try.


Lisa Scottoline

Ideas for Book Groups

I am a huge fan of book clubs because it means people are reading and discussing books. Mix that with wine and carbs, and you can't keep me away. I'm deeply grateful to all who read me, and especially honored when my book is chosen by a book club. I wanted an opportunity to say thank you to those who read me, which gave me the idea of a contest. Every year I hold a book-club contest and the winning book club gets a visit from me and a night of fabulous food and good wine. To enter is easy: all you have to do is take a picture of your entire book club with each member holding a copy of my newest hardcover and send it to me by mail or e-mail. No book club is too small or too big. Don't belong to a book club? Start one. Just grab a loved one, a neighbor or friend, and send in your picture of you each holding my newest book. I look forward to coming to your town and wining and dining with your group.

1. Come Home, at its heart, is the story of family, and more specifically, the blending of families. What are the dynamics in your own family like? What do you think the greatest challenge is in blending two families?

2. One of the main themes in this book is leaving home and "coming home." In which ways have each of the main characters (Jill, Abby, Megan, Victoria) left home or come home?

3. Do you understand Jill's emotional response to Abby when she first sees her after several years? Why or why not?

4. Describe Sam's response to the dynamics between Abby and Jill. Do you agree with him? Do you relate to his response? Do you feel he acted appropriately?

5. Have you ever had a situation where you were forced to be estranged from someone you cared about?

6. How do you think Abby's and Victoria's separation from Jill affected them? What do you think Jill could have done differently, given the circumstances?

7. How would you describe William? Why do you think Jill was so easily fooled by him?

8. What rights do you think a person should have if he or she was instrumental in helping raise a child? What do you think is better for the child? How do you think the legal system will deal with this issue in the future given the growing number of blended families?

9. Oftentimes a parent must give the majority of their attention to the child that needs it the most. Do you feel like Jill was neglecting Megan in favor of helping Abby? What would you have done if you were Jill?

10. Now, for fun: Would you help solve the murder of your ex-husband? Go easy—at least until the second glass of wine has been served…

Customer Reviews

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Come Home 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 159 reviews.
simple344 More than 1 year ago
I've read many books by this author, so naturally had to get the this book. Engaging Quick Read!
MysteryLover14 More than 1 year ago
I always pre-order any book by Ms. Scottoline. I have read almost all her books -- This one, however, proved to be a disappointment. When there were about 100 pages left, I almost set the book aside. I was frankly just tired of waiting for something to start. Then, within those last pages, Lisa threw in all the resolutions to the various plots and subplots, Much of it seemed far-fetched and contrived --- I didn't believe her being a doctor -- she didn't truly seem devoted to her career. I have seen in print, this book referred to as a thriller. It is in no way a thriller. And, it definitely lacks what I've seen as Lisa's skill in mystery writing. I miss Bennie Rosato and the girls and those mysteries. Lisa, please return to your true talent as a mystery writer!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was very disappointed in this latest book by Lisa Scottoline. It was not up to her usual novels and I had a tough time getting through it. The main character was very unlikeable. Anyone who is a fan of Lisa Scottoline's book and has been eagerly awaiting this book will be just as disappointed as I was
quaintinns More than 1 year ago
Did not care for this book – very slow, long and drawn out! The whining drove me nuts on the audio and could not wait for it to end. Would not recommend! Jill is about to remarry and her ex-stepdaughter shows up stating Jill’s ex-husband is dead. Abby insists that he was murdered and pleads with Jill to help find his killer. Jill reluctantly agrees and opens up a world she did not know from her ex-husband’s life and gets in the middle of the downfall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read......but please bring back Bennie, Mary, and the gang back as soon as you can! They have become like family. I KNOW you like to be challenged by new characters......and I have enjoyed them all, but Bennie and her team have a lot of good stories left for you to tell!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is different from Lisa Scottoline's earlier novels but highly interesting. I could not put this book down. She gives new insight to being a mother and step-mother together with some legal action toward the end of the book. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So simplistic, such an utterly dilikable protagonist, characters not fleshed out i wanted to quit reading but i paid for the book and presumed it had to get better. it didn't. This woman would have been dead fifteen times. The author made jill smarter than the fbi and the cia and the police and she was a pediatrician also. Do not buy this book unless you enjoy being irritated
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good Job & good storyline. I enjoyed this so much. It held my attention and I wanted to see what was going to happen so kept reading. The author took time to develop the characters very well, no by time the story was over you felt like they were family. I'd recommend it, worth the time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing author... lovs all her books!! This one is no exception. ?...wjj
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not sure I totally believed the password crack but a great book none the less
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seriously...... I was on edge from the very beginning of this book. I loved it and I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a suspenseful novel with a touch of heartfelt drama and heartpounding twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Different from Scottoline's other books. Overall book was good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading this book and have decided to read some other books by this author. Lots of twists and turns to keep you interested.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First time I read a book by this author. Was so nice to read a book without bad language & sex! Am looking forward to reading more by Lisa Scottoline! Would recommend to everyone!
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Let’s state from the very first: This is a potboiler of a novel. It reads more like the script for a soap opera. It can’t make up its mind whether it’s a murder mystery, criminal investigation, or family saga. It shifts from one element to another without much consistency. The plot involves Dr. Jill Farrow, a pediatrician with a 13-year-old daughter by her deceased first husband, divorced from her second husband with no contact with his two college-age daughters, and living with Sam Becker, about to become her third mate, who has a grown-up son living in Texas. Then one of her ex-stepdaughters shows up informing her that her ex is dead and that she suspects murder. This sets off a series of situations in which Dr. Farrow investigates the possibility of foul play. Meanwhile, interjected in the plot are various family problems, misunderstandings and crises. There are a number of inaccuracies in the story, as well, but they can’t be cited without disclosing plot details. I guess a lot of tightening could have averted some of the over-plotting. The author certainly can write. But sometimes mommy doesn’t know best.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to force myself to read this book. The characters were boring. The entire book was boring. I feel cheated because I paid $30 for this book.
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Do we ever stop being a mother to our children? For Jill being a mother doesn’t have a time clock or a switch to turn off even after a divorce. So when Abby, the stepdaughter she thought was lost to her when her marriage fell apart comes crashing into her home Jill never hesitates to open the door. The man she is about to marry is not as thrilled with the baggage from a prior marriage invading their space, but realizes this part of her past overlays the present. Jill tries to piece the bits of information Abby is explaining about Jill’s ex-husbands death. It has been ruled a suicide but Abby believes that it was murder and her case may be wrecked with emotional outbursts but the facts seem to be strong. Jill should stay out of it and manage her own daughter’s life but a mother never walks away from a child in need regardless of whether they are tied by blood or not. Abby pulls Jill into the tangled web of deception that was the man she thought she loved life. Her ex-husband was always under the radar pulling one swindle after another but the one that may have cost him everything was a house built on a very fine paper trail. Jill pulls fact from all the fiction trying to involve the authorities who just won’t buy into her hypothesis, even one well construed. Lisa Scottoline knows how to write a story will be pull you in emotionally and keep you riveted to the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this book. Engaging and a quick read.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I have read many of lisa scottoline books. This is not one of her best
susiesharp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let me preface by saying I am a fan of Lisa Scottoline but this book was not one of her best. I think it was because there are very few likable characters in this book. I am part of a very, very blended family and can understand more Jill¿s point and not Sam¿s he really got on my nerves, these girls though now grown women were at one time her daughter¿s they lived in the same home and lived as a family. At first I understood his apprehension a little because Abby was drunk but after that he was such a jerk about the whole situation.It¿s not that I didn¿t like this book I did well, it was a little better than ok but not great. The characters are unlikeable, whiny or full of hatred and jealousy. I also didn¿t really understand the whole storyline with the little boy well in the way I didn¿t think it added anything to story except to try to get us to like Jill because she is caring.As for the audio production I was impressed with Maggi-Meg Reed¿s of the young girl with braces because I knew she had braces before the book mentioned it. However there was a lot of crying and wailing going on and that got annoying so that part of it I had wished I¿d read instead of having to hear it. The narration was a bit over the top and I am not totally convinced I wouldn¿t have liked this book more if the characters hadn¿t all sounded so whiny. I would listen to this narrator again and I thought I had listened and now that I looked she narrated one of my all time favorite Lisa Gardner books (Hide) so yes I would listen to her again.Wow the ending got really chicklit sappy, everything all wrapped up in a bow and Sam¿s turnaround was so fast I thought I had missed something, I even went back and re-listened to a couple chapters but I didn¿t miss anything it all happened with a blink of an eye.I guess what my rambling is trying to say is try this one in print I think the characters will sound less whiny than they do in the audio version but this isn¿t one of Lisa Scottoline¿s best books.I received this audiobook from Audiobook Jukebox¿s Solid Gold Reviewer Program and Macmillan Audio for a fair and honest review.3 Stars
mikedraper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pediatrician, Jill's former stepdaughter, Abby, arrives at Jill's home to tell her that Abby's father had been murdered. Since this is Jill's ex-husband, Abby asks Jill to look into it.Jill feels sympathetic for Abby and with her thirteen-year-old daughter, Megan, she tries to go to a memorial service for William but is asked to leave by his elder daughter, Victoria.As she talks to Megan, Jill tells her about William stealing from her and even taking perscription pads which could have ruined her as a doctor.Jill investigates but just when the reader thinks the plot is going in a certain direction, the author provides a well executed change of direction that was wonderful.The concluding part of this novel will make the reader sit up and cheer.
jo-jo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a great audiobook to listen to, as it was filled with action, suspense, and emotional struggles. Reed did a wonderful job narrating this audiobook by embracing her characters as we follow her along a journey that has her struggling with her parental responibilities, loyalties, and obligations. Jill's life appears to be on the right track, as she is getting ready to marry a wonderful man, her daughter Megan is excelling in school, and her career as a pediatrician is back on track.Jill cannot foresee how her life will take a drastic change when her stepdaughter from her previous marriage unexpectedly shows up on her doorstop one evening. Abby informs her that her father is dead and she suspects that he has been murdered. Jill thinks that Abby is hysterical from grief so takes the girl under her wing, hoping to alleviate her suspicions.As Jill spends more time with Abby she is reminded of the love that she developed for both her and her sister. She was their mother at one time and she can't help but allow the motherly feelings to resurface. Jill does not expect the renewed relationship with her stepdaughters to create a rift with her husband-to-be, but she cannot ignore her parental longings.As Jill takes a closer look at Abby's allegations surrounding her ex-husband's death, she notices some things that don't add up. As she continues her quest for the truth, Jill could end up in the middle of a scheme that not only puts her life in danger, but also everyone that she loves.This was a very engaging audiobook, with my only complaint being the crying that happened early on in the book. I found these parts downright annoying, but maybe that comes from raising a daughter. Otherwise, this was a great book to listen to and with themes of parental obligations, love, and truth, I think it would also make a great book club selection. I don't hesitate in recommending this book for your listening pleasure.
murraybm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As usual Lisa Scottoline pulls you in from the first page. It seems with each book her skill grows. This is a fast paced book with twists and turns and well worth reading. I enjoy the change of characters in each of her books. Not relying on a series is different from the trend nowadays. I like her attention to detail and the concentration on relationships between family. Great read.
justmelissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Come Home is one of Lisa Scottoline's literary chick lit mystery books, not one of her sassy-female-lawyer mystery books. I'll admit to a preference for her humorous contributions to the latter genre over her softer, more emotional chick lit books. Bias revealed. Jill's ex-stepdaughter turns up unexpectedly with the news that Jill's ex-husband is dead. The stepdaughter is convinced his death is no accident even though the police have already closed the case. Jill is excited by the opportunity to reconnect with the stepdaughters she lost access to in her divorce. However, getting involved in this drama may jeopardize Jill's relationship with her current fiance and her daughter. For me, the strength in Come Home is in Scottoline's ability to set up questions about what defines a modern family. Not only does she examine what happens when a blended family splits up, but she stacks another layer on by adding yet another blended family to the mix. In this case, the results are not all together successful. Jill finds herself having to choose between the past and the future. My only criticism is that I found the forced choice to be somewhat contrived - (mild spoiler alert) I didn't believe the fiance would put Jill in the position of having to choose, at least not without a lot more discussion and hand-wringing. A man who was that shallow would not be a mate Jill would choose in the first place. Overall, an entertaining read that addresses a modern and complex issue.
brendajanefrank on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Come Home" is excellent serious Scottoline writing. Unlike the Bennie Rosato series, "Coming Home" is serious, with no humor, wisecracks or fun repartee.I read it in two days and enjoyed it thoroughly. It has formulaic Chick Lit elements. Jill, the main character, is a strong, career-driven pediatric physician who cares more about her patients than the bureaucratic, money-driven requirements of her practice. Like Scottoline, Jill has made a serious mistake by marrying her first husband, and is trying to do better with the second. Foremost, Jill is a mom. Her children come first, always, including her stepchildren from her first marriage. If anything or anyone threatens any of these children, Jill is an avenging, protective pit bull, just as any good mother should be.Jill, of course, has a Best Girlfriend, who is supportive and fun. Yes, the story includes two dogs and a cat. Of course, we always know what Jill and all the characters are wearing. Also, we know that her stepdaughter, Victoria, has highlights, wears skinny jeans and is stylishly put together. There are lots of references to Face Book, I-phones and Blackberries. It sounds like Scottoline has become comfortable with the digital age.The plot twists and turns and includes an interesting subplot. Good prevails over evil. Everything ends well, and love conquers all. What could be more satisfying?