Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

Meet 11-year-old Swan Lake - a girl who knows her own mind and doesn't often hold her tongue. As a narrator, she's brilliant: we see family tragedy filtered through a child's skewed perception and observe day-to-day life through the lens of a kid who sees more than she should.

Her mother's family, the Moses clan, are a proud people; they're known for honesty and integrity, and the family businesses hold a solid place in 1950s Arkansas society. But as this book begins, the Moses' are rocked by a series of events that shakes up their family dynamic and eventually force them to re-examine "Moses Honesty" versus "Plain Old Honesty."

The book's got great heart and a warmth I really enjoyed. It's literary but still fun, light enough for summer reading but welcomes further examination. Due for release in July, I've already devoured the advanced reader's copy of this book and will be recommending it for next year's book club rotation; themes of family, trust, faith, and childhood innocence could all be ripe topics for lively discussion.

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