An American author, horticulturalist, and clergyman Edward Payson Roe started to write in 1872 and published his first book as a serial in "The New York Evangelist", which shortly became the most popular book of the year. During his time Roe wrote about a dozen more novels, as well as a number of popular short stories, having believed that through it he could reach the people with the message of Christianity. As the result, E. P. Roe became the most popular American novelist, whose books sold more copies than even those of Mark Twain.
Published in 1881, “Without a Home” is the story of the trials and tragedies that follow a 19th century New York City family affected by the father's opium addiction. In accordance with Harper's Magazine, “Without a Home” is the ultimate design of the story is to trace the origin and growth, and exhibit the pernicious results of the morphia habit. Mr. Roe has graphically, and at times powerfully and dramatically, portrayed its influence to wither and destroy manhood and to wreck the happiness of the family. The harrowing incidents which are the consequence of the evil are not so ostentatiously exhibited as to be revolting, but are ingeniously distributed over a story that has a substantial and independent interest of its own.