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The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

A Novel
Narrated by: Catherine Taber
Length: 10 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (240 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

“Wingfield writes complex, believable heroes... with redemption trumping tragedies in scenes ripe with tension and dread.” ( Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!

Where does The Homecoming of Samuel Lake rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

Near the top and I listen to lots of books.

What other book might you compare The Homecoming of Samuel Lake to and why?

On par with A Prayer for Owen Meany. Made me laugh, made me cry, made me want to seek justice against awful people.

What does Catherine Taber bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

Loved her narration and I'm a narration snob. Didn't use fake southern accents. Great job.

If you could rename The Homecoming of Samuel Lake, what would you call it?

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

Any additional comments?

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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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One of my favorites for 2011...!

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great read

One of the best books I've read in ages! I'll be looking for more by Jenny Wingfield. The narrator was terrific, as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Makes you feel like you just watched an Andy Griffith show---

I loved the reader. SO appropriate for this book. The story really kept me looking for the good! And I was not disappointed!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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listen with caution

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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BLADE BALLENGER BROKE MY HEART!

I soaked up every last capturing word. This book was so well written. All the characters had many layers rich in personality. I could easily picture the whole thing. Do not pass this up.

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Beautiful story

Loved the storyline and the narrator was the perfect accompaniment. Felt like I was there

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I don’t know exactly why I love this book but I did

First off the narrator is spot on ! She just was this little girl . I will definitely look for more books read by her !
Secondly This is such a sweet story. I felt like I was hearing a story being told by somebody’s grandmother. colorful and warm. I will say there was one part I skipped over only because I thought it was going to be too cruel, but it was only 30 seconds.

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Good story for mature audience

The story was good, however, it had too much language/swearing for me, especially from children of their ages.

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Excellent on all accounts.

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!