Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Home Place by Carrie La Seur

Hello, all! Today I'm kicking off the TLC book tour for Carrie La Seur's debut, The Home Place.

It's the kind of phone call no one ever wants to receive: Alma's sister, Vicky, is dead. It's been five years since Alma last saw Vicky. Five years since she was last home in Billings, Montana. Vicky's life hasn't been easy - the three siblings (Pete, Alma, and Vicky) - lost their parents when Vicky was just twelve. Pete was a military man with a drinking problem and Alma, at seventeen, couldn't handle taking care of the family. It fell to their aunt and uncle to raise Vicky. When she got pregnant at sixteen she left their home to live with her boyfriend and has struggled ever since. Drugs, alcohol, money problems... but when the police suggest her death might not be an accident after all, Alma begins to wonder what else Vicky might have gotten herself into after all this time. 

From the very beginning I have to say that Carrie La Seur evokes a very distinct and impressive sense of place. The people, their history and heritage, their lifestyles, all of this is laid out smoothly in Alma's narration. We learn early on about her family's ties to the land, how they got to Montana and what the home place means to them.

We also see the struggles these families face. Lots of drinking, worries about living off the land, coping with the changing times... Alma is at once admired and looked down on for leaving her family behind, breaking out of Montana and making a life for herself. Her own guilt is something that weighs heavy on her.

Much of the story is focused on Alma learning the truth about Vicky's death but this isn't really a mystery. Instead the mystery is an element in a larger story about family. The Home Place is a really fabulous book - an amazing debut, to be quite honest. La Seur writes with an assurance that's unusual for a first novel. This is definitely one I'd highly recommend - and one I'd suggest savoring rather than speeding through.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here

For more on Carrie La Seur you can visit her website here. You can also like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I love it when a debut author blows me away. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!

Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.