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Lisa R. (Salem, OR)
I liked this book, but it might not be for everyone. Some of the situations in the book were hard to read about, although you know they happen in this world of ours. The writing was excellent, and represents many situations where people are trying to do the right thing. The only thing that threw me a little was that there were several things that happened that would have normally generated a little more in depth story telling and discussion, and instead they were somewhat skimmed over. Overall though, it was a good book that I would recommend.
Patricia L. (Seward, AK)
Homecoming of Samuel Lake
Jenny Wingfield author of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake chronicles a farm family dealing with the everyday challenges of raising children while circumstances with the adults go awry. Wingfield has deftly woven the story through her characters. Swan Lake, the pre-teen daughter of congregation-less preacher Samuel Lake befriends 9 year old Blade Ballenger, abused and speechless, yet communicative. Bernice a trophy wife to one man not so secretly aspires to rekindle her relationship with her brother-in-law Samuel. Ras Ballenger, violently abusive father and husband, methodically terrorizes his family, animals and neighbors while Calla, Willadee and Toy Moses invoke the family trait for truth telling as needed. This book is fast paced yet thoughtful. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake has elements of The Secret Life of Bees and To Kill a Mockingbird and is highly recommended.
Robin W. (Marinette, WI)
I love this family!
I truly enjoyed the Lake family! I was especially taken by the daughter, Swan Lake. She reminded me of Scout Finch from "To Kill a Mockingbird". Swan showed courage, determination and love for her family! This is a great summer read especially if you are headed back home for your own family reunion. You are likely to read about someone that reminds you of a member of your own family. This book is well written with a great plot AND character development.
Gail L. (Maitland, FL)
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
This novel is on my all time favorites list because it has all of the elements needed to write a "complete" novel. The characters are so real, I felt like I knew each of them personally. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to see what was just around the corner. The characters were so genuine and each one was developed so expertly. There is a clear antagonist. His behavior is so despicable that some portions of the novel were hard to read; however, this is one of the reasons the book was so interesting and real. Life, death, family dynamics, abuse of children and animals, loyalty, betrayal, and spirituality are just some of the elements that made the book special. I highly recommend this book selection for book clubs - there are so many things to discuss. I can hardly wait to see what Jenny Wingfield writes next. Great job for a first novel.
Donna W. (WELLESLEY, MA)
Southern Gothic re-visited ...
The Homecoming of SL is reminiscent of the true, Southern Gothic style. Although it starts out a little on the slow side, the author eventually weaves the real chain of events into a good versus evil theme, demanding that the characters reveal their true feelings, however frightening they may be. It is a page turner for sure, and one that will truly become a title "not to miss"!
Sherrill B. (Columbia City, In.)
The Homecomming of Samuel Lake
This book was action packed. I couldn't put it down.Even though I didn't like the unusual names of the characters I found the characters very believable.There was a lot of action in every chapter. There were not very many happy moments but full of life and living. This would be a good book for book clubs as there is a lot to discuss.
Christine E. (Royal Oak, MI)
Do you believe in miracles?
A great novel about two families, the Lake family and the Moses family, who are related by marriage. They come up against evil in the form of Ras Ballenger. Ras hurts the two families deeply but he does not kill their beliefs in miracles. The book renewed my belief that the good in humanity can overcome evil.
Sue P. (Richardson, TX)
An Instant Classic!
This book was, quite simply, one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. The characters are so rich, the descriptions so evocative, the events so spellbinding that for the time it took me to read it, I WAS in 1950s Arkansas breathing the air, tasting the food and smelling the same scents as the Moses and Lake families. I didn't just read this book - I inhaled it - devoured it.