In class on Monday we were discussing where Hunter’s home was truly, Vancouver or Lethbridge. I am from northern BC, and after I graduated high school I moved down here to attend university. None of my friend were any farther south than Edmonton, so I was thrown into a new place alone. When people asked me where my home was I was able to tell them easily. In the summer after I finished my first year, I also started referring to Lethbridge as my home. I had made new friends and connected with the city enough for me to consider it home. I used the term home for both Lethbridge and Fort St. John, which confused a lot of people. It is generally accepted that everyone has one home. My Fort St. John home is the home of my family, friends, and childhood, but I realized that to accomplish my dreams I would need to find a new home at least temporarily. My Lethbridge home is the home that I am currently realizing my dreams to be an educator. It is also the home of my new friends. It took me almost three years to realize that both of these places are important to me as home in different ways. I spent the summer away from both of these places, and I used the term home to describe both Lethbridge and Fort. St John, and I realized that I get something from each place.
I think that a similar thing can be said of Hunter and his experiences in Lethbridge and Victoria. People are important in defining home, but I think experiences, and how the individual feels in any given place is what is truly important when it comes to defining home. I think the saying home is where the heart is accurately applies to this, because the physical location of home varies and is not always easily definable. How you area affected in different places is important to the defining of home (if home can be defined).
Near the end of the novel, I was sure that Hunter was going to return to Lethbridge after he said goodbye to Niall. I thought that he found a home in Lethbridge with his aunt and Poppy. I suppose that in making that assumption I was reading it as a 20-something university student, who at 18 was more than ready to fly far away from the nest, and not as a young adult thinking that Hunter was not there yet. Even still, Hunter recognized that there was something special in Lethbridge that he was not ready to let go of forever, but Victoria was where he spent most of his childhood, and where Lee and his parents lived.
I do not think that a person has to have a single home at any given time, and I also don’t think that a house address determines a home, even in YA literature. As we saw with Rebee, a home can also be a state of mind (in addition to the physical house she later calls home).