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A Place to Call Home | [Deborah Smith]

A Place to Call Home

Twenty years ago, Claire Maloney was the willful, pampered, tomboyish daughter of the town's most respected family, but that didn't stop her from befriending Roan Sullivan, a fierce, motherless boy who lived in a rusted-out trailer amid junked cars. No one in Dunderry, Georgia - least of all Claire's family - could understand the bond between these two mavericks. But Roan and Claire belonged together...until the dark afternoon when violence and terror overtook them, and Roan disappeared from Claire's life.
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Publisher's Summary

Twenty years ago, Claire Maloney was the willful, pampered, tomboyish daughter of the town's most respected family, but that didn't stop her from befriending Roan Sullivan, a fierce, motherless boy who lived in a rusted-out trailer amid junked cars. No one in Dunderry, Georgia - least of all Claire's family - could understand the bond between these two mavericks. But Roan and Claire belonged together...until the dark afternoon when violence and terror overtook them, and Roan disappeared from Claire's life.

Now, two decades later, Claire is adrift, and the Maloneys are still hoping the past can be buried under the rich Southern soil. But Roan Sullivan is about to walk back into their lives....

By turns tender and sexy and heartbreaking and exuberant, A Place to Call Home is an enthralling journey between two hearts - and a deliciously original novel from one of the most imaginative and appealing new voices in Southern fiction.

©1997 Deborah Smith as Leigh Bridger (P)2012 BelleBooks, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (106 )
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  •  
    Kimberly Walworth, NY, United States 06-24-12
    Kimberly Walworth, NY, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great book!"

    This was a funny, sad, up lifting and heart breaking story. The book is in 2 parts. Part one is when they are children. The things the little girl says and does mad me LOL... at work no less. The author really had a way with a child's point of view. Great Job! Part 2 jumps 20 yrs later. They come together and help one another threw past and present problems. This book is a true romance of the heart and sole. (So, not a steamy sex filled book.)

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lee Seymour, WI, United States 06-24-12
    Lee Seymour, WI, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2009

    The best way to read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What A Great Story!"
    What did you love best about A Place to Call Home?

    I love theat the town "looser" became somebody because one little girl paid attention to him. The author accuartely portrayed the life of a "throw away" kid. Iloved the type of love bewtween Roni and Claire. I was not "weird" even with the age difference. I loved how Roni would make promises and they all came to pass. I loved that they were able to hang on for so long. Everything all came to be a big circle.


    What other book might you compare A Place to Call Home to and why?

    Not any one book in particular. I love the stories where all is lost and one day the loved one comes back into their life (lives).


    What does Kymberly Dakin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Kimberly Dakin did a great job with the southern accent and tempo. She was made it easy to listen to with distinct voices for everyone and used the proper inflection. Everything was well played out and in context with the character's personality and emotions.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The letters. It was sad/glad/longing and all of that. Roni wrote all of those letters to Claire not knowing if he would ever see Claire again in person.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a suprisingly sweet story. I took a chance on it being that I have not heard of the author or the book, but it was worth it. A love story the the bone. Definately worth your credit.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PattiC2 maine 08-12-12
    PattiC2 maine 08-12-12 Member Since 2010

    reviews for fun

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    "Overall this was a nice book"

    My only critique was in the author's long drawn out explanation of the many relatives. The who's who history of the families, cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews.
    Who owned what and where. There were so many of them, it was hard to keep them all straight. But less would have been better..The author wrote with humor and the narrator did an excellent job. Anyone from a small town could relate to the subject of this book and how cruel small town living once was by a certain few.The division of classes, the cruelty of children who were better off than others. In all, I liked the message of this book.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 08-20-12
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 08-20-12 Member Since 2011

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Big Rousing Family Summer Read-Enjoyable"

    A Place To Call Home is an involved story arc about a huge family-I was tempted at times to make a list of who went with what family, but I finally gave up and simply flowed with the tale.

    I really got a kick of Smiths 'Claire' character.... as a youngster-a snotty tomboy with mean big brothers, she thought she had to be brash to make herself seen. She reminded me of myself as a 10 year old-tall, lanky and awkward with an impossible kinky home perm my grandma had to give me every summer to keep my hair 'controlled' over vacation Calire is sweetly and realistically written by Deborah Smith and very much the center of the novel. Her casually adopted local bad boy, who protected her from the mean kids was also written with both realistic frailties and boldness.Their childish love and faithfulness to each other seemed very realistic. Deborah Smith has a way of showing a lot of humanity in her characters. They came to life for me. Especially the grannies. There was an era of grannies on that generation who ruled the house. Granny Elizabeth and Granny Alice were very familiar personalities to me.

    Kymberly Dakin did a wonderful job keeping all the names and southern drawls straight and well as keeping the plethora of family members alive in my mind. I'd be happy to listen to another move narrated by her anytime.

    This was a super fat summer listen-coming in at 14 hours I believe, it kept me entertained by the pool during scorching hot weather. I was listening to it on my iPad without headphones and another mom came to watch her child by the pool. I was politely putting my headphones on when she asked me if I would just leave the iPod on so she could listen along with me. We both became engrossed with the storyline over several days and, though I continued to play it in the evening for an hour or so, when I came back to to the pool, my neighbor would ask if we could listen again-Deborah Smith was a new author for both of us and very much enjoyed.

    Not a lot of drama-but what there is is compelling. It's a very nice family story of growing up, lives changes and finding lost loves. This isn't literature - it isn't a bodice ripper - and it isn't overly peppered with sex and profanity for those who are offended easily..there is some but it's in context and not gratuitous.

    Definitely a woman's book, with a lot of scenic southern back country, family intrigue and errors of judgment, changes in opinions as happens to real families. I hope Smiths other books are so realistically told. It was worth my credit and I'm downloading another Deborah Smith right now.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn @theBookDate Paraparaumu, New Zealand 09-04-13
    Kathryn @theBookDate Paraparaumu, New Zealand 09-04-13 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Heart Wringer!"

    I really loved this story, the first part while Clare and Roan are children, the second part as adults. It is about family - the joys and failings. Wonderful old people, amazing young members of family.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Dubai, United Arab Emirates 02-20-13
    Janet Dubai, United Arab Emirates 02-20-13 Member Since 2009

    J

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    "Among the BEST in my library"

    I have this on my library for some time now and i just finished re-reading it. Claire and Roan are true characters brought to life by Deborah Smith. There were certain circumstances to the story which i can relate to. Life of people i know, not the same but the upheavals of family and townspeople drama.

    Their childhood connection brought them back together despite the long and arduous years apart. Roan recreated his own family when he took a young boy into his care and brought him as his son, only...... And Claire, she stayed true to her heart. The heartbreak, the inspiration, and hope of life together with Roan was almost a never.

    It's a long enjoyable and at the same time a frustrating listen because when it was over, I was lost and looking for more of their story. I enjoyed listening to the narrator too. I'm actually trying to get all Deborah Smith's audiobooks slowly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    denise Iowa Falls, IA, United States 01-13-13
    denise Iowa Falls, IA, United States 01-13-13
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    "Still My Favorite"

    I loved in when I read it years ago and thoroughly enjoyed the audio version. It is one of the few books I have kept to read again.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen CARNEY, MICHIGAN, United States 11-29-12
    Karen CARNEY, MICHIGAN, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "One of my top 5 favorite books!"
    Would you listen to A Place to Call Home again? Why?

    Yes.... GREAT story!


    What about Kymberly Dakin’s performance did you like?

    Great job!!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    I hope they do make this a movie!


    Any additional comments?

    Amazing story line!! Keeps you listening!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindie Woodstock, Ga, United States 07-29-14
    Cindie Woodstock, Ga, United States 07-29-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AWESOMELY Funny and totally Unexpected Delight!"
    Would you listen to A Place to Call Home again? Why?

    Many, many times. The narration was spot on and the story was just too funny and sad at the same time. I loved every minute of it!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the humor. I was raised in GA so I really got a lot of what the writer was talking about and I LOVED how "little Peep" didn't stand for how her family and the town treated a young boy. She stood up for what was right. I was/am a lot like that too. She was a hoot!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    How do I pick one. Each scene led to another and was either so funny or so heartbreaking to me. I ached for that young man and cheered Claire all the way to the end.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I got this book on sale, and didn't know the author or the narrator, but I thought thought what the heck. I was blown away by how much I loved both. I laughed and laughed and waited to see what that little rascal would get herself into next and how Claire and Rownie would come out in the end.


    Any additional comments?

    Get this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan California 01-02-14
    Susan California 01-02-14 Member Since 2013

    Skipper

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Angsty Chick-Lit: Childhood Friends to Lovers"

    Contents: A few fade-to-black sex scenes, some swearing, some bloody violence, some sexual violence.

    Fairly good audio performance by Kymberly Dakin. Her voice is easy on the ears and most characters sounded tolerably Southern, and distinctly different enough. However, I could hear it whenever Dakin drew a deep breath. Also, the adult Roan sounded too much like his younger self. His adult voice lacked texture, firmness, and depth. Also, Dakin mispronounced "malevolent" twice, and also said "stifled" wrong (in "stifled sob" she said "stiffled sob"). But in general, her narration is solid. Recommended, with caveats.

    About 3.5 stars for the story. This is angsty Chick Lit focused on extended family drama in an Irish community in Georgia. Childhood devotion become adult passion, but the developing romance often comes second to grim family drama. Too much family drama. Some scenes are mildly amusing, though, and the scenes after the tornado brought me to tears -- heart wrenching and poignant. This was followed by the requisite happily-ever-after epilogue. I closed the book with a *mostly* satisfied sigh.

    The story is told in two parts, spanning 25 years, from about 1968 to 1993. Part one is excellent, but the pace bogs in part two. I grew impatient and almost skipped ahead to the end. Too many family stories about the wealthy Maloney clan. Too much focus on a few secondary characters, like Josh and Matthew. Part two didn't do justice to the excellent groundwork cemented in part one.

    It's told in 1st person by the heroine, first as a little girl, then as an adult, with some letters portraying the POV of the hero, first as an adolescent, later as a man.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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