Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

Author: Jenny Wingfield
Title: The Homecoming of Samuel Lake
Description: Samuel Lake is a pastor who is just a little too controversial for the southern churches he serves. After his denomination tells him they just don’t have a church for him, he and his family—wife Willadee and kids Swan, Noble, and Bienville—end up at Willadee’s parents’ house. There Samuel wrestles with his vocation, Samuel’s ex-fiancee tries everything she can think of to get him back, Swan tries to befriend her uncle Toy, and the family becomes involved with young Blade, who will change their lives.  
Review source: netgalley
Plot: yes. All of the plots and subplots were interesting.
Characters: The book was not as much about Samuel Lake as the title makes it out to be. It’s probably more about Swan and Toy. But all of the family members were well-drawn characters. The villain was truly scary. I felt like a part of this family by the time I had finished the book.
Writing style: I never knew quite what was going to happen here, and the action keeps moving, but it doesn’t preclude character development. In terms of style, the book sort of made me expect magic realism, but there wasn’t any—there was, however, one miracle. I liked this book in the same way that I liked A Grown Up Kind of Pretty.
Audience: I confess, I could look up the publisher, but I don’t know if off the top of my head. That said, I don’t know whether or not this book is being marketed as Christian fiction. Which makes it just the kind of Christian fiction I like. Very much in the tradition of Peace Like a River.
Wrap-up: I loved this book. I wasn’t thrilled with the ending—I can think of two or three endings I would prefer. But that doesn't take away from the overall impact the book had on me. 5/5*

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