I have always been an avid reader, but whenever I read on my iPad, I tend to think to away from the book. Then I can never get into it, the library wants it back, and poof, it’s gone. Or, even better, I buy the book on my iPad on impulse because it sounds good, and it’s not.
That’s why I am no longer buying e-books and only reading hardcover. For the most part, it works. I love feeling the heaviness of the book in my hands, I love turning the pages, being able to see what page I’m on (something I can’t always see on my iPad), and knowing I can look back a few pages if I forgot something.
I went to the library a few weeks ago, and The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield was sitting on the bookshelf, just waiting for me. A Goodreads friend had told me she liked it so I gave it a shot. It was the type of book that can give you a stomach ache and keep you up at night because you want to keep reading to make sure the characters are okay. That’s my kinda book.
I am not a religious person, and this is a book for people who want to believe in miracles. It’s set in the South, I think, around the 1950s, but there’s nothing strong in the setting to make that a significant part of the plot. It’s not about civil rights, or segregation as one might think in that era. Rather it’s about good vs. evil.
I don’t want to give the plot away, but I will tell you that Samuel Lake is a preacher who brings his wife and family back to live with her somewhat eccentric family (even that’s not a good description) after he is denied a new preaching post. The dynamics between the family and a nearby neighbor drive the story. The plot centers around his adolescent daughter, Swan, in a way that reminds me of To Kill a Mockingbird (a book I readily admit I did not really enjoy. I know. That’s a terrible thing to say, but it’s true.)
This book captured my heart from the minute I started it and kept me enraptured in the story until the very end. Bad things happen to good people. But that’s all I’m going to tell you. Read it for yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.