When I published a “What We’re Reading Wednesday” post on May 18 about The Homecoming of Samuel Lake, several of you commented that you would add this novel to your list of must-reads. Well, the novel is out today! It’s a small-town story about growing up in rural Arkansas of the 1950s—about how life can be beautiful, tragic and always unpredictable.
Debut author Jenny Wingfield has graciously answered questions for BookPage readers.
Here’s a preview from the Q&A:
There are some very painful passages in this book—especially those involving animal and child abuse—yet overall the novel feels uplifting and optimistic. Did you make a conscious effort to balance the darkness with humorous or happy scenes?
Basically, I just wrote a story, and the characters did what was in their nature to do. The terrible thing about this world is that evil exists. The glorious thing is that hope and love and laughter and music exist at the same time—and I believe that good is infinitely more powerful than its opposite. [Continue reading this interview . . .]
For more on how this novel came to be—Wingfield has also worked as a screenwriter, and she lived through some hard years and difficult experiences before finishing the book—read our interview on BookPage.com: “A charming debut novel is years in the making.”
Are you going to read The Homecoming of Samuel Lake? Do you have a favorite debut novel of 2011?