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The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

Literary Fiction   Debuts of the Month   Family Drama   Relationship Stories   eBook Favourites   
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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

One of our Debuts of the Year 2011.

Funny, wise, heart-stopping and heartbreaking, with a cast of unforgettable characters, The Homecoming of Samuel Lake is a masterpiece of storytelling.

A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher...

'I’d almost forgotten what it was like to fall headlong into a novel when I picked up The Homecoming of Samuel Lake. This is a locomotive of a story – fast, fearsome and funny – and introduces Swan Lake, an 11-year-old tomboy like no other. This is a perfect book to take on holiday – utterly compulsive and emotionally satisfying, in the tradition of The Help and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Peel Society. I’m stunned that a first-time novelist can write a story as accomplished as this, and I hope it captures your heart in the same way it has mine.' Essie Cousins, Editorial Director, 4th Estate and HarperPress

If you like Jenny Wingfield you might also like to read books by Fanny Flagg, Elizabeth Berg and Rebecca Wells.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

A bewitching debut novel in the vein of the much-loved classic Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe. It's 1956 and Samuel Lake, a handsome preacher, is voted out of his ministry by yet another congregation, disappointed by his relentless pleas for them to live more charitable lives. Out of options and out of pocket, Samuel and his family are forced to move in with their Arkansas in-laws, the rambunctious Moses clan. At first they thrive in the unruly sea of relatives -- Willa, Samuel's wife, runs the bar for Grandma Calla, while the boys, Noble and Bienville, run riot through the surrounding countryside. But when Swan, their formidable but loveable 11-year-old tomboy, crosses the path of neighbour Raz Ballenger, things take a turn for the worse. Raz Ballenger, horse trainer, is a man who rules both his family and his animals through terror. Used to instant obedience, he is insulted when Swan leaps to his son's defence, an act that sets a whole chain of unexpected and terrible events into motion!


'Raw and powerful.'
Fannie Flagg, bestselling author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe

'With a teeming cast of memorable characters and an often heartbreaking story line, this gracefully written novel is sure to appeal broadly! it is the work of a born storyteller and a good choice for bookclubs.'

'Expect laughter and tears.'
Easy Living, Summer Reading Pick

'Anyone who loves Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird will delight in Swan, the Lake's 11-year-old!This debut novel is so believable one wonders if it's fiction at all. It's all here. Faith. Honesty. Sin. Redemption. A miracle or two. Even a surprise ending. Wingfield's sense of people and place is near-perfect. You know these characters. You have met them.'
USA Today

'Wingfield writes complex, believable heroes!with redemption trumping tragedies in scenes ripe with tension and dread.'
Publishers Weekly

'With a teeming cast of memorable characters and an often heartbreaking story line, this gracefully written novel is sure to appeal broadly!it is the work of a born storyteller and a good choice for bookclubs.'

'This is a terrific book and the characters are sensationally good. You will love it'

'If I could give it more than five stars I would do so without hesitation.'
NewBooks magazine

'Guaranteed to warm the cockles of a heart of stone.'
Herald Summer Reads

'Readers will lift up their hands in praise of this layered, old-fashioned tale of sin, grace and retribution. The Homecoming of Samuel Lake has a supreme cast of characters including a flawed but righteous daddy, a makes-your-skin-crawl villain, and the sassiest, truest girl heroine this side of Scout Finch. Can I get an Amen ?'
Susan Rebecca White, author of A SOFT PLACE TO LAND and BOUND SOUTH

'Jenny Wingfield's richly detailed account of good and evil in 1950s Arkansas will captivate anyone who treasures the values of faith and honesty that are a part of America's rural past. Wingfield's sense of people and place is uncanny. After reading The Homecoming of Samuel Lake , you too, will believe in miracles.'
Sandra Dallas, New York Times best

-selling author of PRAYERS FOR SALE and WHITER THAN SNOW

About the Author

Jenny Wingfield

Jenny Wingfield is an accomplished screenwriter. Her credits include The Man in the Moon (starring Reese Witherspoon), as well as The Outsider (starring Naomi Watts). She lives in Texas and this is her first novel.

Author photo © Lori Harwell

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Book Info

Publication date

1st March 2012


Jenny Wingfield

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HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


336 pages


Literary Fiction
Debuts of the Month
Family Drama
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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