It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam, and with my own trip booked to Florida, I knew this was going to be the perfect vacation read.
Have you ever heard of the right book at the right time? For me, this was it. Carrying Albert Home fit perfectly into my life. Like Homer Hickam Sr. I too come from a small town, and like Elsie Lavender I’ve always craved the big city; something new to experience and a chance to leave home behind. When I picked up this book I was embarking on a big trip: leaving the comforts of Ontario and flying to Florida for a vacation. It was my first time leaving the province. As I arrived at my destination I took the chance to read about Elsie and Homer’s road trip with their pet alligator Albert. They too were experiencing a wild adventure of their own.
Carrying Albert Home is a somewhat true story, and author Homer Hickam brings so much humor to his family’s tale (proving that all families have interesting pasts). His story is hopeful, funny and wise. What I was not prepared for, however, was the love story between Elsie and Homer Sr.! I always enjoy the romantic tales of soulmates and happily ever after. With this book, there was a realistic love story. Even though Elsie and Homer were having problems, they love each other and their journey — Albert in toe — was needed to find their way back to each other. I too believe strongly in the phrases “if you love something you have to set it free” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Above all, you don’t know how much you miss something until it is gone.
I am pretty good at being independent and, like Elsie, I love dreaming about the life I could have and forgetting to be thankful for what I do have. When I “carried Albert” with me to Florida I was carrying a memoir of my own life. Returning, book in hand, was my chance to come home just in time to enjoy our holiday long weekend and be thankful for my family.
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