Back to the Homeplace by William Leverne Smith transports readers to small town American of the late 1980s. Four siblings and their families are reunited under the auspices of a unique will. Complex relationships and family secrets emerge as the Bevins family members search for their place in the local community.
The interesting introductions at the beginning of most chapters helped take me back to the news and entertainment of the 1980s. I've read many books set in the 1960s or 1970s, but this is the first that concentrates on events of the 1980s. This is important for the mood and context of the story. Smith did an outstanding job weaving social issues of the late 1980s with timeless family relationships. Growing up in the midwest, I could relate to both the small town atmosphere and the varied viewpoints represented in the book. What I found particularly interesting was how Smith followed members of both the older and younger generations dealing with issues unique to each group.
Strong character development and realistic situations draw readers into the family farm setting during the first half of the novel. Smith's creative double-twist climax keeps readers engaged through the second half of the book and the conclusion leaves readers wanting to return to the Homeplace for more.
I look forward to the next book in this great new series. Annette Lamb "eduscapes"
[Included in Cym's March 30 Book Review Party Wednesday - Thanks!]
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"