For the last decade, Dianne Robbins has taken care of her daughter Julia, who was born with severe medical problems, with the help of her mother Lucinda and of Julia's uncle Alan McIntosh (who also happens to be Julia's pediatrician). Of Julia's father, Alan's brother Tim, Dianne doesn't like to talk or think about, for he left Dianne when Julia was born, unable to accept a less-than-perfect baby.
Now, Alan is another sore subject for Dianne, Alan reminds her of his brother (though they are nothing alike beyond some physical resemblance), and she feels awkward around him for they dated once before Dianne eventually chose Tim over Alan. But when Alan introduces a troubled young girl named Amy to Julia and Dianne, things begin to change slowly. Julia gains a best friend and Dianne starts to open herself to love again.
Follow the Stars Home, is one of those books that make perfect Hallmark tearjerker movies; in fact, that's how I first became acquainted with the story many years ago, by watching the movie of it. Now, the book isn't exactly the same and I quite enjoyed the differences. Dianne, Tim and Alan are good, complex characters and Lucinda, Amy and Julia complement them beautifully.
The friendship between Amy and Julia, and between a cat named Stella and a puppy named Orion are two of the best things about the book, which, all in all, is a tribute to the healing power of love, of second chances.