Home Another Way: A Novel
Bethany House Publishers, 2008
For me, the best books are populated with realistic characters that I think about long after I’ve finished the book. They become real people that I’ve met at some point during my life. They aren’t the perfect people we’ve come to expect to see on TV or movies. My favorite people (whether in real life or books) are the ones whose “insides” become the important part. Just like the scripture that says man looks on the outside while God sees the inside. That is the essence of this book – realistic characters we see clear down to their “insides” and love them anyway. This is a character-rich book and here are a few of them.
Sarah Graham has no home and no money, but she has the promise of an inheritance from her father’s estate. To accept it she travels to a small mountain village in the state of New York. She has an inheritance all right, but she must live there for six months before she can claim the money. This could be a recipe for disaster. Big City Sarah is hateful, rude, promiscuous and self-centered. She really doesn’t like herself and, at the beginning, neither did I.
Beth is a few years younger than Sarah. We first meet Beth as a waitress in the diner. There is no way to disguese the fact that Beth has been severely burned. Half of her face is scarred. But the “inside” of Beth’s character is so friendly and genuinely loving that after a while both Sarah and the reader don’t even think about her scars. Her inner beauty is all you see.
Maggie is Beth’s mom and owner of the local Inn where Beth stays when she first comes to town.
Jack is Beth’s brother and also the local minister. And, Sarah thinks he’s very attractive.
Melody is Sarah’s equal when it comes to throwing out insults. But inside, Melody has a very giving and loving heart. She gives Sarah what Sarah has wanted all her life.
Doc ia a crusty character. The local doctor, he gives Sarah a job visiting elderly and shut-in patients.
There are many more people in this isolated community. One person not alive but very present in spirit is Sarah’s father. Everyone in town has nothing but good to say about him. Sarah doesn’t want to hear it. This is the man she has never known. When she was a young child her father killed her mother and then spent many years in prison. Yes, there is a mystery here.
This is Christian fiction yet you will find no preaching here. It’s a deep and complicated story that should engage most everyone. One simple suggestion: read it with a kleenex handy. This is the first book by the author but I doubt it will be her last. It is very well written.
I won this book from the good ladies at 5 Minutes For Books. I’m so grateful as this is going to rank very high in my list of Favorite Books of the Year. I would love to share this book – only read once. If you are interested, leave a comment letting me know you are interested sometime before March 22. I’ll announce the winner on Monday, March 23.