WOW, what a book! Jenny Wingfield’s debut novel has all the makings of an instant classic.
From the publisher:
“The story of the Moses clan that gathers, as it always has, on the first Sunday in June, for an annual reunion on the sprawling hundred-acre family farm in Arkansas in the 1950’s. And every year, Samuel Lake, a vibrant and committed young preacher, brings his beloved wife, Willadee Moses, and their three children back for the festivities. In the midst of it all, Samuel and Willadee’s outspoken eleven-year-old daughter, Swan, is a bright light. Her high spirits and fearlessness have alternately seduced and bedeviled three generations of the family. But just as the reunion is getting under way, tragedy strikes, jolting the family to their core and setting the stage for a summer of crisis and profound change. As we follow the family through their own difficulties, Swan will make it her mission to protect Blade Ballenger, a traumatized eight-year-old neighbor, unaware of the peril facing her and those she loves.”
I almost think the title is misleading, it’s not just about Samuel, it’s also about his wife, Willadee, their kids; Noble, Swan and Bienville. Also, Willadee’s mother, Calla; her brother, Toy and his wife, Bernice. Also, central to the story are the neighbors, the Ballenger’s. So many rich characters that just bring life to the story. You will fall in love with them, cry for them and laugh with them. This book will stay with you for a long time after reading it. I highly recommend this book.