The Homecoming of Samuel Lake

By: Jenny Wingfield
Location: FIC WIN
Genre: Family Drama's

A PK. It means "Preachers Kid." That is something close to my world. Its a tough job being a PK. That is what Swan is, she is the daughter of Samuel Lake a fiery Methodist preacher from the south of the USA. Think -"The Help", think  - "Fried Green Tomatoes", - think "To Kill a Mockingbird". High praise- but that is what this book is getting!
This family loved God, but when someone close commits suicide, you are found jobless, your father-in-law runs a pub called "Moses never Closes" and Swan meets a lad who is abused and afraid,  the jealousy's, loves and hates of a close knit rural community, then what you think  about God is put to the test.
Is fiery preaching livable in action, does being a PK mean you cant explore the pain of a broken world for yourself?
Funny thing really, I grew up is a very Christian rural part of New Zealand, and we had a family enter our community that was not Christian, was not rural and was not  'one of us'. As a 10 year old girl, I also like Swan fought for the justice and acceptance of John, the outsider boy the same age as me. Maybe there is more of Swan in me than I dare to think- maybe that is a good thing!
This book is full of love, it is also smeared by hate. It is full of good ol southern drawl and a few well placed 'Amens'!

Set in rural Arkansas in the 1950s it is the story of one large extended family, the Moses/Lake clan. As the book opens the family has come together for their annual reunion at the homestead in Arkansas. Preacher Samuel Lake and his wife Willadee come with their three children, bullied Noble, rowdy Swan and bookish Bienville. In the middle of the reunion tragedy strikes. But it is just the first in a string of horrors that befall the family and which encompass joblessness, homelessness, murder, rape and child abuse. Set in a small community and tackling the subjects of poverty, faith, family dynamics and the fight between good and evil it is a great story ( Andrea from


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