Park’s home life and Eleanor’s experience at home are quite different. Even though Park’s life isn’t perfect, he feels accepted and loved by his family, and he knows that his family cares for him. When Eleanor comes home every day, she feels very unwelcome. She has only recently returned to her family after running away from home and staying with family friends for a year, and her re-entry process back into family life has not been very smooth. Eleanor feels disconnected from her younger siblings, and she is very anxious around Richie. She loves her mom, and her mom seems to accept her, but their relationship is tense because her mom is still so subordinate to Richie. Eleanor doesn’t trust Richie, and she hates how he treats her family, but she also doesn’t want to cause another huge fight, so she tries to keep the peace.

Eleanor’s siblings don’t accuse Eleanor directly of abandoning them, but they do seem to be distant towards her. In the year since she’s left, they’ve developed their own dynamic with Richie, and Eleanor feels left out. She knows that she did the right thing by leaving, but she also feels uncomfortable about coming back. Richie is more dominant than ever in the household, and even though she can see his controlling nature more clearly than before, Eleanor keeps her mouth shut for the sake of the rest of her family.

Part of Eleanor’s shyness on the bus and in school also comes from her difficult experience with the Hickmans, the family she lived with when Richie kicked her out of the house. At the Hickmans’, she felt very strongly that she wasn’t wanted, but to stay in their good graces, she decided that the best strategy was to try to be as inconspicuous as possible. Becoming invisible is Eleanor’s self-protection strategy. Rather than letting people into her life, she creates a wall around herself to stay protected.

In general, Eleanor feels like nobody wants her. Even though she is back at home, her whole family is wary of her presence. Richie already kicked her out once, and her siblings haven’t quite accepted her back fully. She doesn’t have any private space to call her own, and she doesn’t feel welcome in any shared space. Eleanor’s house does not feel like a home.