My Home is on the Mountain


MidWest Book Review

"Truly extraordinary"

A deftly crafted and inherently fascinating novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling that keeps its readers enthralled from first page to last, "My Home is on the Mountain" by Caro Clarke is truly extraordinary and highly recommended.

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The Lesbrary

"You, my friend, can read exceptional prose and get the HEA of your dreams."

If I were going to throw a book down into the middle of a fray between Romance readers and Lit Fic lovers, it would be My Home Is on the Mountain by Caro Clarke. This novel is absolute proof that you can have it all. You do NOT have to choose. You do NOT have to suffer (okay, maybe a little suffering, there's angst aplenty, but you don't have to endure the pain for an eternity). You, my friend, can read exceptional prose and get the HEA of your dreams. (Cue Oprah doling out Happy Endings to the readers.)

The novel focuses on the relationship between Cecilia Howison, a privileged young woman from a wealthy, influential Southern family, and Airey Fitch, a local fiddler and hard working young woman living up in the Smoky Mountains. Her family is rich in land, but otherwise destitute. Major themes in this novel include economic inequality, exploitation of the lower classes, religion (specifically Christianity), and societal expectations around gender and sexuality.
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One of the highlights of the book for me is that it plays with language and dialect in ways that any self-respecting word nerd should eat up with a spoon. ... There is so much to unpack and explore in the novel that I've barely mentioned the romantic entanglements of our two MCs, Cecilia and Airey. Their budding friendship is based on Cecilia's desire to show the world that Airey Fitch is an undiscovered violin prodigy, though she maaay have some ulterior motives as she's a bit sweet on Airey from the very start.
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We see their individual world views and how they're shaped by their beliefs in ways you may not expect. But as you might have guessed, the relationship is fraught with fear of societal repercussions and looks doomed from the start. But I'll remind you, this is a romance. Fear not.
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Descriptions of Airey's music are well executed, and if you want to listen along, some of it can be found on the website. (Be advised though, the site contains spoilers, so don't skip ahead.)  [Author note: here is that music! See About the book]

10/10 — Now if only someone would come along and make this into a movie!

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The Lesbian Review

"Absolutely don't let this one get away."

My Home Is On The Mountain by Caro Clarke is a hidden treasure. It's one of those books that is easy to overlook, but don't let this one escape you.
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This utterly satisfying story will take you on a glorious ride of music and romance set in the sweeping mountains of East Tennessee.
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The book has an excellent beginning, from the first line I was swept away in the story. Clarke has a unique voice and a beautiful way of telling a story.

The characters were clearly portrayed and I loved that the cast, while small, did have interpersonal relationships develop. For example, Cecilia got to know Airey's family and built a relationship with them as well, not just Airey. It made the story feel real. One of the other outstanding things about this book is the description of the music. It read like Clarke has a great passion for, and understanding of, music.
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Absolutely don't let this one get away. If you want a beautiful piece of work that leans more towards the literary fiction side of the spectrum in terms of writing style but still contains a passionate romance then go for it. Get this book. I absolutely recommend it. The story is well thought out, the characters feel real and the ending is perfect.

Reviewer/blog owner rates it as one of her favourite books.

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The Lesbian 52

"This book shows how magnificent a love story can be."

It's been a while since a book took my breath away. Whew. How fortunate I am to live in a world where My Home is on the Mountain by Caro Clarke can be held against my fingertips. This may be the first book I've ever re-read immediately upon finishing. The text was really just that fruitful.
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This story is set in 1931 Tennessee and the dialect of each character reflects whether we're in the mountain or at a high society event. There's some superb dialogue in this book.
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These two woman were captivating to read. Cecilia had so much command and confidence. I love that she already accepted who she was, and how homosexuality wasn't dealt with as a shame for the characters. This was probably one of my favorite portrayals of religion in literature. We see Airey use it for guidance and moral structure, but it doesn't inhibit a more progressive thought process. Although the story turns on the relationship between these two, there are other conflicts that get addressed in turn. I would say though that once intimacy is ignited, there's a wide breadth of discovery set in domestic mountainside bliss.

The love story, which is utterly brilliant, doesn't do all the heavy lifting in terms of passion. The description of music here, and nature, are some of the most beautiful I've seen. I was ever so close to hearing a song with my eyes. Really, My Home is one the Mountain is a treat. Something to savor, if possible. I cannot recommend it enough.

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Note: review title is from reviewer's email to me and used with permission.  


Women Using Words

"I can't recommend it enough."

My Home is on the Mountain is a brilliant piece of literature. Much like its writing, it's unpretentious and straightforward. The beauty of this book lies in its simplicity. Very rarely do readers have the pleasure of reading books of this nature. When they do, it is a real gift.
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The simple rolling dialogue is rich and reflective of mountain people. It is uncomplicated, exact and more than fitting for East Tennessee, 1931. Her beautifully woven words create a tone that spins words into humble imagery, creating a place and culture that readers can readily absorb. The vivid descriptions are a commentary of the world as it was during the Depression and readers are fully engrossed by it. It all comes together to build a story world that completely represents the setting and the characters within it.
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The result is a story readers care about. The story matters because Cecilia and Airey matter. Readers experience the story through Cecilia and Airey's skin, and they understand the stakes involved. They understand what drives these women. They understand what motivates them. And perhaps most significantly, they understand what scares them. Readers see Cecilia and Airey's truth, and it means something to them. They are impacted by the value of it.

Final remarks...
My Home is on the Mountain is not only a love story; it's a journey, one of realization and transformation. The history and geography provide a wonderful backdrop, but it's the characters that truly make this story impactive. They stick with you, and I can't recommend it enough.


  • Well-written
  • Well-plotted
  • Well-paced
  • Wonderful character development
  • Fantastic setting
  • Historically accurate
  • Immersive story world
  • Impactive and memorable

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Note: "Women Using Words" is the new title of "The Lesbian Book Blog." 


Tome Reader Reviews

"I genuinely feel like this book is a hidden gem."

It's clear the author put a lot of effort into making the setting, 1930s America, feel real and fleshed out. The characters are also fantastically well written. I loved each and every one of them, even the ones we are meant to hate. The story is very character-driven, the emotional build-up pulling you in and you really can't help be very invested in their development all the way through.

This book was a wonderful surprise! I won't lie, at first I wasn't sure how I felt. The author takes a really interesting approach to telling this story. There's quite a bit more about the internal aspect of everything that is going on, in an almost poetic way. She also really sticks true to what feels like believable dialogue from 1930s America. I wasn't sure how I felt about this initially, but this very quickly grew on me and I found that I truly loved the writing. It really pulled me into the setting and time period.
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It's a great well-paced romance and societal drama in so many ways. Both the story and the characters carry this book all the way from beginning to end.

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