Sunday, September 26, 2010

Non-YA Review: Back To The Homeplace, by William Leverne Smith

Back to the Homeplace
by William Leverne Smith
Paperback, 266 pages
CreateSpace
Published March 25, 2010
ISBN: 1451560400
ISBN13: 9781451560404

Rating:

The novel is set on a farm and in a nearby fictional community located in the southern Missouri Ozark hills and near a fictional western branch of the Current River. The story revolves around a family dilemma following the death of their matriarch and the unusual will she left to insure the continuity of the farm intact which has been in her family for over 150 years.

The year is 1987. The varied background and viewpoints of the adult children coming Back to the Homeplace ignite controversy and expose long kept secrets as each family member searches for his or her share of the family legacy. While the older family members stake their claims on land and fortunes, the younger ones search for love and acceptance. Subplots involve AIDS Awareness in 1987 issues and a support group for domestic violence incidents.

At the heart of this family life story is how we do or do not effectively communicate among family members - parents with children, among children and grandchildren.

Author William Leverne Smith takes us back to the late 1980s with a compelling story about a family that returns to their roots at the Homeplace (not necessarily by choice) in accordance with their parents' unusual will.

The introductions with the newspaper headlines for each chapter was original and helped to take you back to 1987, when the story takes place. I do have to say that all of the characters coming in at once in the beginning did confuse me and had me flipping back a few times to remember who was who. However, once you start getting into the story better, the characters start taking on personalities of their own and there is no mistaking them from there on out. Also, some of the dialogue seemed a little too formal for the time and small town feel of the story, but it doesn't take you away from the story at all.

Smith's vivid description of the Homeplace makes me want to hop in my car and travel to see this gorgeous place! This is a refreshingly original story that is so well-written, you'll feel as though you're there with the family, feeling all of the highs and lows with them. All of the characters are fleshed out and people that, even if we don't want to admit it, we can compare to people that we know in our own lives. The plot is full of realistic situations and twists that have you turning page after page until you run out of pages to turn. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll gasp - get ready for a roller coaster because your emotions will be on a wild ride!

This is honestly one of the best stories about a family saga that I have read in some time. I also found out that there will be a sequel, which is going straight on my wish list. It's a high-ranking recommendation from me!

Special Note: Book was provided by author in exchange for honest review.

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5/26/2013: If you're here and you're reading this.. thanks for sticking around! I know I've been gone for a while but I am definitely coming back. This blog will be going through some crazy transitions (layout and such) for the next few days, but I should be back up and ready to review VERY soon. Thanks so much for your patience and support!! xoxo, Missy
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