Tuesday, August 5, 2014

BLOG TOUR: The Home Place by Carrie La Seur

Title: The Home Place
Author: Carrie La Seur
Genre: Adult Mystery/Women's Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: July 29/2014
Adquired: Print ARC provided by Publisher
Goodreads: ADD

Carrie La Seur makes her remarkable debut with The Home Place, a mesmerizing, emotionally evocative, and atmospheric literary novel in the vein of The House Girl and A Land More Kind Than Home, in which a successful lawyer is pulled back into her troubled family's life in rural Montana in the wake of her sister's death.

The only Terrebonne who made it out, Alma thought she was done with Montana, with its bleak winters and stifling ways. But an unexpected call from the local police takes the successful lawyer back to her provincial hometown and pulls her into the family trouble she thought she'd left far behind: Her lying, party-loving sister, Vicky, is dead. Alma is told that a very drunk Vicky had wandered away from a party and died of exposure after a night in the brutal cold. But when Alma returns home to bury Vicky and see to her orphaned niece, she discovers that the death may not have been an accident.

The Home Place is a story of secrets that will not lie still, human bonds that will not break, and crippling memories that will not be silenced. It is a story of rural towns and runaways, of tensions corporate and racial, of childhood trauma and adolescent betrayal, and of the guilt that even forgiveness cannot ease. Most of all, this is a story of the place we carry in us always: home.


It's a tricky thing, assuming you're reading a particular genre, and then finding out that it has a hidden agenda. The Home Place performed this particular trick, as it started out as mystery: a suspicious death, a million suggestions of foul play..and then BAM! Romance. I'm not saying I'm opposed to the genre, but it's not one that I would pick up on my own accord. Nevertheless, I made an executive to decision to read this book as "mystery fiction," and found that I enjoyed it for the most part.

Alma Terrebonne was the one that escaped. Escaped her small town, her family, and her tragic past. In the true vein of almost all of the "they returned home" narratives, a new tragedy, Alma's baby sister dying, finds Alma back in Billings, Montana, where little has changed, and a lot is about to be discovered. There is suspected foul play in Vicky's death, and Alma, a lawyer by profession, is determined to interrogate her way to the truth. But coming back home is a feat all on it's own, as Alma is thrown back into family feuds, nostalgic moments, old romances, and truths from a past that will can no longer be ignored.

There hasn't been anything particularly outstanding in the way of "coming home" novels for me, and The Home Place was, eventually, no different. It started off with such a solid BANG. A lone woman outside in the frigid cold, with a description of said 'cold' that I am positive I felt in my own bones. The woman dies. We learn who she was, and who is immediately affected by her death. The first 3 chapters of this book were the most powerful for me, and I wish that the remainder of the book continued on in that tone. By the time Alma arrived back home to begin verify the body, and prepare for a funeral, I could already feel the first few tendrils of disappointment. I anticipated juicer twists, and harder hitting chapter endings. In a wish that is so unlike what I usually wish for, I wished that La Seur turned down the notch on her beautifully rich, and culturally vibrant, descriptions of the town, and it's landscapes, and focused on fleshing out the mystery aspect. It was like being lured in by candy, and promises of chocolate-I was trailing on words melded together to create such outstanding visions in my head..and then I would SNAP out of it, and scream "Hey!! Stop that! Get on with telling me who smashed this woman face first into the ground!"

Yes...it went on for quite a while like that.

It was confusing, and disappointing, mismatch of genres for me. The last quarter of The Home Place was almost a Nick Spark's novel, with triangles of love, and non-emotional angst. I enjoyed the personalities of Alma's grandmother, Maddie, and niece, Brittany, so much more than Alma's herself. It was difficult to connect the accomplished business woman to the younger, more care-free self she describes to readers. The redeeming factor lay in the passages in which Alma described her relationship with Vicky. There was definitely raw emotion in the way she portrayed their sisterly relationship, both in their younger years, and their older, more estranged years.

In all, The Home Place held my interest, not by being an intriguing mystery, but by being a narrative that highlighted the importance of family, and the place you come from. By reminding us that our pasts may hold pain, but it also holds such an abundance of joy, and positive memories, if only you're willing to look for those things there.

Recommended for Fans of: Women's Fiction, Romance, Mystery, When the Cyrpess Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon.

Check out Carrie's BIO PAGE HERE to find out more about her!

Contact Links:


 Check out this great video of Carrie introducing her novel! 


Thank-you to Trish from TLC Book Tours for hosting this tour, and to William Morrow for sending me a print ARC to review!

CLICK HERE to follow the rest of the tour

1 comment:

  1. A description of cold that you could feel in your bones?! Now that's talent!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts as part of the tour!


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