Characters you just can't get enough of! "Almost Home" by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Cover Art

about the book....

The things that tear us apart can also bring us together

With America's entrance into World War II, the town of Blackberry Springs, Alabama, has exploded virtually overnight. Workers from all over are coming south for jobs in Uncle Sam's munitions plants--and they're bringing their pasts with them, right into Dolly Chandler's grand but fading family home turned boardinghouse.

A struggling young couple from the Midwest, unemployed professors from Chicago, a widower from Mississippi, and a shattered young veteran struggling to heal from the war are all hoping Dolly's house will help them find their way back to the lives they left behind. But the house has a past of its own.

When tragedy strikes, Dolly's only hope will be the circle of friends under her roof and their ability to discover the truth about what happened to a young bride who lived there a century before.

my review....

Every once in a while a novel comes along that pulls you so deeply into the story that the characters literally feel like friends who you just can't spend enough time with. Such is the case with "Almost Home", a wonderfully told tale that drew me in from the get go. Every time I had to put the book down to attend to reality it was with much reluctance, and then when I got to pick it up again I couldn't help reading as fast as I could to see what was going to come next!

"Almost Home" offers a bit of everything - strong characterization, humour, some mystery, romance (but nothing too mushy), and one of those endings that leaves you both happy and sad, because you just won't feel ready to let these characters fade away after you've gotten to know them so well. I greatly enjoyed the setting of the story in the southern United States, and the novel perfectly captures the flavour of the day as the characters are dealing with the realities of war and financial hardship and grief and loss. As they struggle towards daylight and towards the hope that God is offering them, they experience the wonder of new beginnings even in the midst of hardship. As I was reading this book we are approaching the Easter season, and I found this book to offer up sort of parables fitting with the power of the resurrection and what God has accomplished for us. Luesse has crafted a tale filled with grace and I, for one, enjoyed every moment.

Valerie Fraser Luesse is a new author to me. But, I can tell you that I've been won over to her fan club with this winning tale. I award this novel 4.5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to find out what she has in store next!

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

about the author....

Valerie Fraser Luesse
Valerie Fraser Luesse is the bestselling author of Missing Isaac and is an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently a senior travel editor. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana's Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana won the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

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