Every first Sunday in June, members of the colorful Moses clan gather for their annual reunion at “the old home place,” a sprawling hundred-acre farm in Arkansas. Samuel Lake, a handsome young preacher with a huge heart and strong convictions, has brought his wife, Willadee Moses, and their three young children to the festivities. For the children it’s a time to vacation away from the prying eyes of their father’s congregation, and for Willadee it’s a chance to be with her beloved mother and father. But tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core and setting the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change.
Samuel soon learns that he has lost his parish back in Louisiana, so he and his family take up temporary residence on the farm. Everyone is drawn to Samuel’s eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, with her outspoken questions and mischievous spirit. Swan, in turn, is fascinated by her powerful, secretive Uncle Toy, a war veteran, and his sultry wife, Bernice, an old girlfriend of Samuel’s whose desire to win back her old beau is a bit too obvious. But when Blade Ballenger, an eight-year-old neighbor, comes into Swan’s life, she focuses all her fierce energy on keeping him safe from his terrifying father, never realizing the possible dangers to herself and to those she loves.
With characters who come to life like members of one’s own family, Jenny Wingfield’s THE HOMECOMING OF SAMUEL LAKE is a novel with the universal reach of the most memorable and lasting works of fiction.
Jenny Wingfield lives in Texas with her rescued dogs, cats, and horses. Her screenplay credits include The Man in the Moon and The Outsider. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake is her first novel.
Jenny Wingfield is a wonderfully talented author. I was completely surprised at how much I actually enjoyed this story and all the characters within. It’s a story of family, of tragedy, of longing, of reunions, of pasts that aren’t so squeaky clean. It was an incredible time, staying up late into the night to finish this story.
I have to say. I really loved Wingfield’s sweet character, Swan Lake. Yep, you heard right. Swan Lake. That in itself really had me hooked. For an author to come up with an incredibly different and unusual name like that, well, the story itself is bound to be just as awesome. And that it was.
I could go into deep detail about the reunions, the ex beaus, the tragedy of Sam loosing his parishioners, of the abusiveness that happens among some of the pages. I tell you how deeply engrossed I became among the deep southern family and their drama. But, I won’t.
What I WILL tell you is that this four star novel is a wonderful debut novel by a sure-to-rise-to-the-top author. If she keeps writing stellar works of fiction as she has with this novel, she will have an ever growing group of fans and readers. I recommend this book with two thumbs up to all you readers of southern fiction and family dramas. You will be quite surprised with this novel! Well done, Jenny!