Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: the Home Place by Carrie LaSeur

A bold well-written novel featuring the trendy theme of successful family member who has left the hometown and is pulled back into a family disaster/drama she thought she was well out of. In this case, the setting is a bleak, rundown rural town in Montana. With the exception of the main character Alma Terrebone, the family is underemployed, under-educated, dysfunctional, and struggling to recover from a series of poor choices, bad luck, and outside villains.  The publisher tells us:
The only Terrebonne who made it out, Alma thought she was done with Montana, with its bleak winters and stifling ways. But an unexpected call from the local police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she’d left far behind: Her lying, party-loving sister, Vicky, is dead. Alma is told that a very drunk Vicky had wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. But when Alma returns home to bury Vicky and see to her orphaned niece, she discovers that the death may not have been an accident.
The story is deeply emotional, offering insights into the basic human need for forgiveness, for family, and for a place that holds the roots of our grounded-ness.  There were a few sections where I almost lost interest, but on the whole, readers will find this an excellent debut novel with a story worth reading. I look forward to more from this author.

Title: The Home Place
Author: Carrie La Seur
Publisher: William Morrow (2014), Advance Reader's Edition, egalley, 304 pages
Genre: literary fiction, mystery
Subject: family secrets,
Setting: Montana
Source: egalley via Edelweiss
Many thanks to the publisher for making a review copy available.


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