No Direction Home

"Blindness will be like this."

So says ten-year-old Will Burton, trying to reimagine his life in the wake of his father's abrupt disappearance, as his family picks up the stakes and moves to California. At the same time, another boy, Rogelio Alfaro, risks his life to cross the border illegally from Mexico to reach his father, enduring gangs, police roundups, and the pitiless desert. And Marlene McClure, a hard-edged, yearning teenager, leaves her own Midwestern home in search of a father she has imagined but never known. The lives of each of these children and their families converge on a single home in Los Angeles - where the very needs and desires that have torn them apart allow them a measure of hope together. Written with heart-stopping grace and a powerful understanding of the passions that define family, No Direction Home masterfully evokes how far we will go in the name of a place to call home.

No Direction Home


A beautiful novel of father hunger, tenderly written and carefully plotted…A remarkable, memorable first novel.

Boston Sunday Globe

Silver deftly tells the stories of three families whose struggles to survive are made tougher by depression, dementia, and traumatic separation…A perceptive look at the rippling effects of adversity on family dynamics.


Marisa Silver's first novel, No Direction Home, presents a promising sampler of miseries…juggling so many plot lines without confusing the reader is a considerable feat, and Silver manages it well.

New York Times Book Review

This is an excellent book. Reading it, I was reminded of the kind of fierce lump-in-the-throat emotions a book can stir. Marisa Silver has a preternatural insight into the hearts and minds of children, and her writing is passionate, wise, fearless, and often utterly gorgeous.

Dan Chaon

author of You Remind Me Of Me

Silver, with her attention to everyday detail and her determination to take seriously the myriad individual lives that create California, has crafted a beautiful honest, and poignant novel of this siren state.

San Francisco Chronicle

Silver proves herself a deft juggler of plot lines and an effective realist; she conjures an aching world of half-truths, physical need and emotional frustration…This is a moving novel, each of its well-wrought characters finding some comfort in the 'solace of in-between spaces.

Publisher's Weekly

In No Direction Home, the sense of longing is s alive and so pervasive, yet, at the same time, it is so individual t each of Marisa Silver's haunting characters. This is a rich,  textured novel about the depth and resilience of imperfect love. It is ambitious, accomplished, and tremendously moving.

Cathleen Schine

author of The Love Letter and She Is Me

Silver is masterful at orchestrating her complicated cast of characters and settings…But perhaps the most impressive quality of this novel is her ability to create distinct and idiosyncratic characters struggling with physical, psychological and economic limitations…Silver is refreshingly unafraid of emotion as she holds the strands of her narrative taut and brings each of the intersecting dramas in this knowing first novel to a moving and resonant conclusion.

The Los Angeles Times Book Review

Marisa Silver is an explosive writer, capable of igniting prose with m moments of startling insight…Silver delivers her most subtle thoughts and mature wisdom…in lines that possess the compact power of poetry.

Nashville Scene

A luminous piece of fiction. I love the way it takes the form of the family novel and raises the stakes its people face out into the jagged perils of the real world. And all this is narrative with great intimacy and tenderness  - a rare, striking, unsentimental book.

Joan Silber

author of Ideas of Heaven