This is an awesome young adult story.
As soon as you start reading it you want to finish it and find out what happens right away.
ISBN 0449703266 - I actually picked the book up because there's a kid wearing a baseball glove on the cover and the reference to HOME... hey, it said baseball to me. At first. I'm very single-minded, sometimes. It's got nothing to do with baseball, of course, but it's still a worthwhile read.
Billy hasn't heard from his mom for a few years when she writes to invite him to spend the summer with her in California. His father is going to Europe for six weeks, so it seems like a good time to spend time with Mom. The Chicago boy figures he'll get to see his mother, Disneyland, maybe the beach... but he's not counting on what he gets. His mother has joined a cult and is determined to help Billy see the light and join them. The rest of Billy's family doesn't make any contact with him, at least that he's aware of, and he's hurt by that. The cult takes him on the run, out of the country, to keep him "safe" from the family that, unknown to Billy, really is trying to reach him.
For the record, the religion in the book, Omkara, seems to be named for a sacred syllable in the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religions - it's not an actual religion. I was really surprised to like this book. The fact that it's written for young adults, a group that is considered most susceptible to born-again groups and other cults, is a plus, since it offers a viewpoint that they might be able to relate to. The somewhat ambivalent feelings that Billy has at the end seem realistic and a bit frightening. Well done.