The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
A bewitching debut novel in the vein of the much-loved classic Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe.
It’s 1956 and Samuel Lake, a handsome preacher, is voted out of his ministry by yet another congregation, disappointed by his relentless pleas for them to live more charitable lives. Out of options and out of pocket, Samuel and his family are forced to move in with their Arkansas in-laws, the rambunctious Moses clan.
At first they thrive in the unruly sea of relatives – Willa, Samuel’s wife, runs the bar for Grandma Calla, while the boys, Noble and Bienville, run riot through the surrounding countryside. But when Swan, their formidable but loveable 11-year-old tomboy, crosses the path of neighbour Raz Ballenger, things take a turn for the worse.
Raz Ballenger, horse trainer, is a man who rules both his family and his animals through terror. Used to instant obedience, he is insulted when Swan leaps to his son’s defence, an act that sets a whole chain of unexpected and terrible events into motion…
`Raw and powerful.' Fannie Flagg, bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe`With a teeming cast of memorable characters and an often heartbreaking story line, this gracefully written novel is sure to appeal broadly... it is the work of a born storyteller and a good choice for bookclubs.' Booklist`Expect laughter and tears.' Easy Living, Summer Reading Pick`Anyone who loves Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird will delight in Swan, the Lake's 11-year-old...This debut novel is so believable one wonders if it's fiction at all. It's all here. Faith. Honesty. Sin. Redemption. A miracle or two. Even a surprise ending. Wingfield's sense of people and place is near-perfect. You know these characters. You have met them.' USA Today`Wingfield writes complex, believable heroes...with redemption trumping tragedies in scenes ripe with tension and dread.' Publishers Weekly`With a teeming cast of memorable characters and an often heartbreaking story line, this gracefully written novel is sure to appeal broadly...it is the work of a born storyteller and a good choice for bookclubs.' Booklist`This is a terrific book and the characters are sensationally good. You will love it' Booksmonthly`If I could give it more than five stars I would do so without hesitation.' NewBooks magazine`Guaranteed to warm the cockles of a heart of stone.' Herald Summer Reads
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