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Course studied: MA Creative Writing
Graduating year: 2020
Jenny grew up in Germany and came to the UK as an au pair in her late teens. The plan was to stay just for one year to learn better English, but she ended up staying forever. Jenny has a BA in English Literature and Community Engagement from the University of Bristol and has wanted to write Home for a long time. She has made Bristol her home.
Home is about the importance of belonging, safety and sense of connection with the world. The novel explores what happens when these things are lost. Gemma, seventeen, who grew up in chaos and entered the care system aged eleven, does not belong. She has nowhere to go when things go wrong, no support network or many friends.
Anya’s sense of safety was shattered as a teenager when her sister died in an accident and her world fell apart. She escaped her native Germany and her increasingly fraught relationship with her mother through a university scholarship and found a sense of belonging in her relationship with her husband. But now, in her early forties, her marriage is crumbling.
The two women meet when Anya becomes Gemma’s volunteer befriender through a local mentoring scheme. The novel charts Gemma and Anya’s fractious relationship and ultimate coming together in an unconventional friendship.