Saturday 6 August 2011

My Latest Review is The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

This is my latest review for Newbooks and is one of the best debut books I have read for a while.
Jaffa enjoyed it but wasn't too keen on the treatment of some of the cats in the story - that made him cross enough to have a hissie fit.....

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
jaffa's rating 5paws

Homespun America in 1950’s is beautifully described in this accomplished debut novel which interweaves the lives of the Lake and Moses family. Samuel Lake is a preacher without a congregation and without any hope of a ministry of his own he is forced to return to his wife’s family farm in Arkansas with his eccentrically named offspring. Of his three children, it is eleven year old Swan Lake who is the formidable ringleader, who is tomboy enough to run wild through the rural landscape, and yet has a heart bigger than the Arkansas sky.
Reminiscent of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird, this emotionally charged book reveals a story that is at times dark and dirty, and yet has a theme of faith, and family that transcends pure evil. There is an abundance of rich and varied characters who bring the story to life, from grandmother Calla who tends her flowers, and dispenses wholesome wisdom, through to the bravery of Uncle Toy who keeps the bar at ‘Never Closes’, and who loves the Lake children as he would his own.
I stayed up late and long in order to finish reading this story, it made me laugh, it made me cry and ultimately, it made me believe in the power of storytelling.
This is storytelling at its absolute best, and I would recommend this novel wholeheartedly to my book group. If I could give it more than five stars I would do so without hesitation.
Read it if you can.


  1. New title to me and sounds interesting.
    This is going on my wishlist

    Great review, thanks.

    Have a good week


  2. Thanks Carol - you have a good week too !


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