Return Home: Stranger in a Familiar Land

The Escapades

This week’s romance trope is Return Home. Kicking things off is Alison Stuart, who asks: Can you ever really go home?

A stench of animal and human waste and decomposing vegetable matter rose from the Thames and exuded in waves from the dark, narrow streets that led down to the dock. Standing at the rail of the ship, his hands gripping the weathered wood so hard that the knuckles showed white, Daniel breathed in the fetid London air as if it were the finest perfume he had ever smelled.

He had come home.

From Exile’s Return, by Alison Stuart

My husband maintains that in any given fictional story there are only two plots—‘stranger comes to town’ or ‘stranger goes on a journey’. The ‘return home’ trope is a subset of ‘stranger comes to town’, only in this case the stranger returns to a familiar world but finds they…

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