With characters who spring to life as vividly as if they were members of one’s own family, and with the clear-eyed wisdom that illuminates the most tragic—and triumphant—aspects of human nature, Jenny Wingfield emerges as one of the most vital, engaging storytellers writing today. InThe Homecoming of Samuel Lake she has created a memorable and lasting work of fiction.
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
Publisher: Random House
Goodreads: Every first Sunday in June, members of the Moses clan gather for an annual reunion at “the old home place,” a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. The children embrace the reunion as a welcome escape from the prying eyes of their father’s congregation; for Willadee it’s a precious opportunity to spend time with her mother and father, Calla and John. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core: John’s untimely death and, soon after, the loss of Samuel’s parish, which set the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change.
In the midst of it all, Samuel and Willadee’s outspoken eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, is a bright light. Her high spirits and fearlessness have alternately seduced and bedeviled three generations of the family. But it is Blade Ballenger, a traumatized eight-year-old neighbor, who soon captures Swan’s undivided attention. Full of righteous anger, and innocent of the peril facing her and those she loves, Swan makes it her mission to keep the boy safe from his terrifying father.
Ope’s Opinion: I received this book at BEA. This book was hard for me to review. This is not my usual genre. Jenny Wingfield set the book in the 1950’s. There was a lot of abuse that was difficult to read and think about. The story had a fast pace to it. It showed a family who truly loved and took care each other. Each person in the book had flaws, so it made you feel they were real. The violence in this book really bothered me. This book isn’t for everyone.
Rating: 3 Chairs – I like this book enough to suggest it to a friend or two, who might also share it.
FTC – Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from BEA. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.