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When She Came Home by Drusilla Campbell


When She Came Home by Drusilla Campbell

Frankie Byrne has returned from the war in Iraq to a war in her San Diego home. Her daughter, Glory, is having problems with bullies at school and Frankie and her husband, Rick, can't agree on the best way to deal with it. In fact Glory is just one of many things Frankie and Rick can't agree on any more. It seems like everything Frankie does - from buying groceries to socializing with friends - is wrong. Her father, Brigadier General Harlan Byrne, USMC retired, thinks that Frankie's problems are her own fault. A woman, especially a mother, should not go off to war. But Frankie's problem is not that she wasn't prepared to be a soldier. It's that she can't stop being one. Her time in Iraq - specifically a controversial moment the government doesn't want to acknowledge -has left her with severe PTSD. She can't forget the horrors she saw and can't forgive herself for not being able to do more. Back home in San Diego, Frankie struggles to get back to normal. Her friend and fellow vet is also going through a hard time and Frankie isn't sure how to help. And though she desperately she wants to regain the closeness her family once shared, she no longer knows how to be a wife or a mother. Her PTSD leaves her feeling weak - something difficult for any Marine, much less one with a disapproving father she's spent a lifetime trying to please.When Frankie is pressured to testify about what she saw in Iraq, her fragile nerves are stretched even thinner. Frankie knows the time has come to be honest about her PTSD and find a way to heal. It's a battle that won't be easy but one she must face in order to save her daughter, her marriage and herself.


With unflinching honesty, Drusilla Campbell explores the emotional complexities between sisters and mothers, and just how far we will go to hurt and help each other. Poignant and intense. --Ellen Newmark, author of The Book of Unholy Mischief The pull of family and career, the limits of friendship and the demands of love all come to vivid life in Wildwood.

--Susan Vreeland, author of Girl in Hyacinth Blue Campbell burns through Simone's struggles and those of Roxanne in haunting, graphic detail. Should be on everyone's book club list. --Publisher's Weekly A heart-wrenching novel that deals with a number of important social issues... [Campbell] transports the reader into the heart, soul and mind of Francine Byrne Tennyson to feel her pain, recall her vivid childhood memories and experience her crises of conscience.


Campbell's powerful novel explores the depth of depravity cloaked as charity and the ability to take a leap of faith and change the direction of one's life. This compelling story will stay with you long after the book is finished.

Monsters and Critics on Little Girl Gone

Campbell writes with deceptive simplicity all the more impressive for the psychological currents simmering below the surface of a barren terrain. Lives made vulnerable by accommodation to loneliness are caught in the web of one man's madness, the rugged landscape a bleak canvas for all manner of bad decisions. But fate intervenes on behalf of Brock's prisoners, a life-long lie is revealed, a boy's fantastical tale proved true, and the frayed connections between a mother and daughter mended in a novel that celebrates the power of friendship and the freedom to make one's own choices. on Little Girl Gone

Campbell's latest has full-blown appeal for teen readers, echoing stories of abduction in the news (a la Jaycee Dugard, and her memoir A Stolen Life) or popular fiction (think of Emma Donoghue's Alex Award-winning Room).

Library Journal on Little Girl Gone

Little Girl Gone peers insightfully into the lives of people easily written off as monsters. With an economy of style, vivid details, and grace of expression, Drusilla Campbell has written a novel well worth staying up late to keep reading.

Laurel Corona, author of PENELOPE'S DAUGHTER and FINDING EMILIE on Little Girl Gone

Nobody gets to the marrow of human flaws and frailties better than Drusilla Campbell. In LITTLE GIRL GONE you are immersed in the lives of people you think you'll never meet and come to care deeply about what happens to each of them. This is a compelling story that won't leave you alone even after you've turned the last page.

Judy Reeves, Author of A WRITER'S BOOK OF DAYS on Little Girl Gone

An unflinching portrayal of life in emotional and physical captivity. Campbell has a powerfully understated voice and resists the easy path of sensationalizing the story. Instead she provides authentic drama rich with complex psychological composition. The result is a novel that is hard to read, but even harder to put down.

San Diego Union Tribune on Little Girl Gone

Drusilla Campbell is a long time writer with several books in print. She is very talented in winding stories with strong women finding their voices. She proves that she knows what she is doing with Little Girl Gone. on Little Girl Gone

Little Girl Gone is a fantastic exploration into domestic violence and the power of courage in the face of tragedy.

BookFinds on Little Girl Gone

When is the last time you cheered out loud for a character in a novel? That's what I did as I read Drusilla Campbell's Little Girl Gone. The complex relationships between Campbell's richly drawn characters took me on a psychological roller coaster that tested my expectations, my values, and my heart. This story of tension and triumph is a perfect bookclub selection. Don't miss it!

Diane Chamberlain, bestselling author of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes on Little Girl Gone

Drusilla Campbell uses lyrical descriptions of the desert setting to make each character's loneliness more atmospheric.

Newark Star Ledger on Little Girl Gone

On WILDWOOD: Resist the urge to turn the page to find out what happens next. Linger, instead, to savor the skillfully crafted writing. --Judy Reeves, author of Writing Alone, Writing Together On THE GOOD SISTER: The story will make you ache for these two women who are bound inextricably and irrevocably by their shared past. --bestselling author T. Greenwood

About the Author

Drusilla Campbell is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: Wildwood, The Edge of Sky, and Blood Orange. Before she started school she had crossed the Pacific Ocean three times. In her twenties she lived in Europe and Central America. Today she's happy to stay at home in San Diego with her husband, the attorney and poet Art Campbell, two rescued dogs, and three horses.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th May 2013


Drusilla Campbell

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Grand Central Publishing an imprint of Little, Brown & Company


336 pages


Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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