The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by debut author, Jenny Wingfield, was one of my favorite books of 2012!   The story starts in the deep south of Arkansas in the 1950’s, as the Moses clan gathers for its annual summer reunion in early June.   A tragedy occurs and sets off a string of events that make it a summer to remember.  There are so many memorable characters in this book:  Samuel Lake, a preacher without a church, his wife, Willadee and their three precious children, their strong but silent uncle Toy, and their grandparents, Calla and John.   The main protagonist is the Lake’s daughter, Swan, an eleven year old, with more wisdom and heart than many of the grown-ups surrounding her. There is also the devil’s incarnate in the form of Ras Ballenger, neighbor to the Moses family.  All of these characters come to life in this southern gothic with such vivid clarity that it will take you a long time to forget them.  This book has it all: faith, love, good vs. evil and redemption.   The Homecoming of Samuel Lake had me in tears one minute and had me laughing out loud the next.  Read this book; it is storytelling at its absolute best!

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This entry was posted in coming of age, domestic fiction, fiction, southern and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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