As a child, M.G. adores her old family house as a guardian with heart and soul. After her mother dies, her father soon remarries and sends her and her brothers, one at a time, off to live with older siblings. M.G. buries her affection for that home, along with the family divisions and pain of her mother’s tragic departure. She becomes that kid—the one who falls through the cracks, and stumbles into adulthood wrecked, scarred, and undisciplined.
All the while, another vintage house, busy protecting an immigrant family in a historic mill community awaits. As an adult, M.G. discovers, falls in love with, and purchases this other place. About a year later, a woman who grew up there shows up for a tour. M.G.’s curiosity explodes. She soon researches the house’s history and the lives of its prior Dutch immigrant owners. House renovation and self-restoration unfurl in parallel.
Like time capsules, the boards and structures of that vintage home begin unlocking their past, resurrecting lessons from M.G.’s own immigrant grandparents, as well as from aunts, uncles, and other relatives whose influence had been snuffed out by M.G.’s tumultuous upbringing. Safe within her vintage home, their wisdom, wit, and eccentricities revive.
Home braids the history of a New England house and town with teachings of motherhood, loss, and tradition—plus a little romance and humor along the way. Home explores how a residence is tied to memory and, consequently, imbued with significant emotional value. This story carries readers from the rags to the riches of a mind.
Mary Barlow blends literary, medical writing, and journalistic talents. She earned acceptance into Brown University’s Summer Writing Symposium in 2005, a weeklong intensive program where she studied crafting life stories. A member of Grubstreet, Boston’s primary literary writing center, Mary is also an alumnus of The Writer’s Hotel (TWH) literary arts center. Mary received warm receptions during a reading at KGB Bar in New York City in 2017 and at a storytelling event at Belmont Books in Massachusetts in 2019.
As a medical writer, Mary writes extensively for commercial organizations on numerous diseases, life sciences products, and on the business of healthcare. She is an expert on how healthcare in the United States works and the challenges related to its accessibility. Before her medical writing career, Mary served as a journalist, banging out articles for the Blackstone Valley Tribune, a small community newspaper that operated in Northbridge, Massachusetts and for the Telegram and Gazette, a daily paper circulated in Worcester County. Leveraging her journalism skills, Mary researched the historical aspects of Home. These include Dutch immigrant life in New England during the early twentieth century, as well as the impact of the Industrial Revolution on her small town’s mill community.
In Home, Mary combines storytelling with her talents as a medical writer in discussing her brother’s Down Syndrome, her mother’s suicide, and the impact of emotional trauma on a child. A graduate of Clark University, Mary graduated magna cum laude, earning a bachelor’s degree in the science of professional communications. She resides north of Boston and is Mom to two awesome sons and a mischievous apricot poodle, inappropriately named Sage.