Monday 4 July 2011

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield

My copy of The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield, published by HarperPress arrived via the Amazon Vine programme last week.

Jenny Wingfield's writing has been compared to Fannie Flagg and Sue Monk Kidd, and although I'm not a huge fan of either of these writers, I was really looking forward to 'Samuel' as the synopsis sounds great.

I'll admit that it took me quite some time to gel with this story, I found the first half of the book quite difficult to get into. 

There is no doubt that the author is a very talented storyteller, but I found the beginning to be quite slow. I also struggled with so many characters being introduced.

However, once past the half-way mark, I was well and truly hooked by the story. The characters began to take on a life of their own and the story line upped the pace quite considerably.

I've read quite a few reviews, mainly by American reviewers that have criticised the story for containing animal and child abuse. Some have even said that they put the book down in disgust. I'm fairly shocked by their reactions. Yes, the story involves some animal cruelty and some awful things are done to a couple of the younger main characters, but these incidents are the main point of the whole story, without them, the story wouldn't exist. The incidents are not glamourised, nor are they trivialised - they are well written and go a long way to show just how evil one of the characters is.

Despite the slow start, overall I really enjoyed this book - it is writing at a very high level and I'm happy to give it 4 stars

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