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 11-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.
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. In The Homecoming of Samuel Lake she has created a memorable and lasting work of fiction.
©2011 Jenny Wingfield (P)2011 Random House Audio
“Wingfield writes complex, believable heroes... with redemption trumping tragedies in scenes ripe with tension and dread.” (Publishers Weekly)
Near the top and I listen to lots of books.
On par with A Prayer for Owen Meany. Made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to seek justice against awful people.
Loved her narration and I'm a narration snob. Didn't use fake southern accents. Great job.
hmmmm...good question. Throughout most of the book I thought the title wasn't a good one. The book was about so much more than just Sam Lake. In my opinion, Swan is the strongest, most dominant character in the book. Maybe I would name it A Moses Never Lies
I highly recommend this, especially for readers who like Southern literature. It was hard to listen to at a times because the subject matter was so upsetting but it was a great book.
I enjoy mysteries, NOT thrillers, contemporary fiction, especially about diverse cultures, and sometimes history, if it doesn't involve too many dates. I often listen to a book multiple times, discovering unnoticed details in the retelling.
I can't remember a book I've liked this much for ages! I listened to it several times, just to continue savoring each character and to enjoy the friendships and understanding which emerge. These are brave folks who we can learn from.
I loved the reader. SO appropriate for this book. The story really kept me looking for the good! And I was not disappointed!
don't want to give a low rating because the book was obviously written by a very good author. I was quite taken back by some of the content and had to skip over some spots.
A provocative story, gut-wrenching at times and beautiful at others. Expertly and delicately read by the talented Catherine Taber, whose respect for the tone/content of the story is evident throughout her nuanced performance. Cannot recommend highly enough!
High up on my list and it brings to mind others I have met in my life who have experienced life just as told in the story.
Typically I don't enjoy southern accents but I stand corrected. Catherine Taber makes me feel like she is reading her own truth with the perfect blend of a story teller reading her own biography.
The children of course. They reminded me of the games I played on the ranch growing up with my siblings and cousins. We even rode an adopted horse that we were warned to stay away from. We didn't even know how to saddle a horse all by ourselves but that never stood in the way of riding her around the property. This sweetheart of a horse knew that we had no clue what we were doing so she made all the decisions about where she would take us.
Wonderful and heartwarming book. The difficult parts came from the sadness in the story but without this, the story would not be believable.
This book grabbed me from the beginning and held me throughout! The characters are believable and endearing and the narrater gets an A+! I can really see this becoming a movie!
I loved this story. Based on the summary alone, I would not have listened to it. It was recommended to me so I bought it. The story is about family, faith and how we will sacrifice for the ones we love. The story is well told and will make you laugh and cry.
Not quite as perfect plot-wise, but close. The characters are real and touching, and the experience of seeing the world through a feisty young girl's eyes is again magical. The writing and narration are a pleasure. Highly recommended.
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