MATERIALS > BACK TO THE HOMEPLACE

FlashBack to the Homeplace
William Leverne Smith
1st Edition (2010)

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Description

The Homeplace farm had been in her family for over 150 years. Mildred McDonald Bevins and her late husband were very concerned that it stay in her family intact as she prepared her will. Her children were scattered, and she felt the need to bring them all Back to the Homeplace. To assure this, she prepared an unusual will that required them to return to the Homeplace for two years in order to participate in the will bequests. The year is 1987 on the Homeplace in the hills and river valley of the Missouri Ozarks. The varied backgrounds and viewpoints of the adult children coming Back to the Homeplace ignite controversy and expose long kept secrets as each family member searches for his or her share of the family legacy. While the older family members stake their claims to land and fortunes, the younger ones search for love and acceptance. At the heart of the story is how we do or do not effectively communicate among family members - parents with children, among children and grandchildren. What happens when they come Back to the Homeplace?

 

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Interviews for Back to the Homeplace

The author appeared live on Springfield, MO, ABC Affiliate KSPR 4 pm news segment, Community Closeup to discuss the book.

Reviews for Back to the Homeplace

Click the image below for a review from the Coon Rapids Enterprise (Thursday, April 8, 2010).

Coon Rapids Paper Review

Reviews from Amazon

Review 1
In "Back to the Homeplace", the author has created an enthralling and descriptive story that captures the lives of several generations of a Midwestern family coming together after the death of the family matriarch. Each character has their own story to tell as their lives intertwine in many twists and turns revealed throughout the book. It's a page turner and at times you won't want to put it down!

William Leverne Smith is a wonderful story teller and keeps you wondering what will happen next. I think every family could relate to at least one of the characters he describes. In "Back to the Homeplace", there is never a dull moment. You'll be happy, sad, excited, and most of all engrossed in the lives of each of these characters. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. I need to know what happens next!

Review 2
Back to the Homeplace by William Leverne Smith transports readers to small town American of the late 1980s. Four siblings and their families are reunited under the auspices of a unique will. Complex relationships and family secrets emerge as the Bevins family members search for their place in the local community.

The interesting introductions at the beginning of most chapters helped take me back to the news and entertainment of the 1980s. I've read many books set in the 1960s or 1970s, but this is the first that concentrates on events of the 1980s. This is important for the mood and context of the story. Smith did an outstanding job weaving social issues of the late 1980s with timeless family relationships. Growing up in the midwest, I could relate to both the small town atmosphere and the varied viewpoints represented in the book. What I found particularly interesting was how Smith followed members of both the older and younger generations dealing with issues unique to each group.

Strong character development and realistic situations draw readers into the family farm setting during the first half of the novel. Smith's creative double-twist climax keeps readers engaged through the second half of the book and the conclusion leaves readers wanting to return to the Homeplace for more.

I look forward to the next book in this great new series.

Review 3

Synopsis:

An extended family in crisis following the death of their matriarch must cope with this new environment. The year is 1987. The terms of an unusual will left by their parents bring four grown children, spouses, and other family members, back to the Missouri Ozarks farm where they grew up - the Homeplace. Varied backgrounds and viewpoints ignite controversy and expose long kept secrets as each family member searches for his or her share of the family legacy. While the older family members stake their claims to land and fortunes, the younger ones search for love and acceptance.

Review:

Back to the Homeplace is an amazing journey of family values and individuals trying to find their place in life. Author William Leverne Smith brings together his love of genealogy and family storytelling in his writing of a story that could touch any one's life these days. The description of the Missouri Ozarks, which has numerous kinds of terrain, landscape and buildings, is amazingly accurate. It makes you want to go on a road trip to view the beautiful area!

The plot is well written with a will dividing a family who all want the farm for different reasons. The twist of the will requires them to live on the land for 2 years. Could you up and leave your life and start over with your family somewhere else? You will see in the story how this effects all the families involved as each day goes by and decisions have to be made. From the older generations to the younger kids, all must deal with new issues that arise from the new environment that surrounds them.

This book evolves around the year 1987. At the beginning of each chapter, there are little news clips of what was going on at the time. Many social issues were active at that time and some are covered in the story like the AIDS epidemic.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to read a great family oriented book that makes you think about the life you lead. The characters will make you think about people in your own family that may act or be like them (I sure found that out.) The writing is easy to read, but my only critique would be a more language use or slang of the area and a little less formal words used. This didn't distract me from the story, but living in the area myself, people speak a little more laid back. Take a trip in to the lives of the Bevins family and see what you may learn about those close to you.

Review 4

When their mother dies, the family gathers at the old Homeplace to find that her will has been left to them on video! And Mom has some strange plans for her four children, their respectives spouses, and their children!

The entire crew must return to the Homeplace for two years, and make of it what they will, before the will can be properly settled!

What follows is a heart-warming story that looks deeply into the intimate lives of the four grown children.

Betrayals, infidelities, homosexuality, and even AIDS are looked at in such a manner that you find yourself saying, "Gee, that's just like what happened to our family!"

Back to the Homeplace kept me reading straight through the book, and wondering why it all had to end when I got to the last page! I wanted to read more!

The author promises a sequel out in late Spring 2011. And I can hardly wait to get it!

This very intimate story of one family, and how they manage to stick together through the thick and thin of every day life, is one story you won't want to miss! ****Disclosure: The author provided a copy of this book for review. No monetary exchanges were made. All opinions noted in this review are of my own making. - cbh


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