The Home Place: A Novel (Hardcover)
Virgie's Staff Pick (July 2014): This entire story takes place within 5 days, and I felt myself on the same roller coaster that main character Alma was on. When Alma gets a phone call informing her that her sister has died, possibly murdered, she immediately returns to her home place to take care of matters. Alma fears that by honoring her sense of duty to family, her life as she knows it will end. Within those 5 days Alma realizes that “… no matter how far you go, when your family goes back as far as yours, this land is like your mother.” Alma doesn’t know if this is a blessing or a curse!
I loved the rural Montana setting, the action and intrigue of the 5 days, and the perspective one gains when returning to a “loved” place!— From Virgie's Picks
August 2014 Indie Next List
“Alma Terrebonne, a rising star in a Seattle law firm, has left behind her complicated family and past tragedies in Billings, Montana, until one morning when a call for help pulls her back. Returning to identify her sister, dead apparently from exposure, and to care for her 11-year-old niece, Alma is overcome by guilt, fragile family relations, powerful memories from the past, and the hold the family homestead has over her. Both a tense, page-turning police procedural and a delightful romance with carefully drawn characters, The Home Place will resonate with the reader long after the book is finished.”
— Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
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.
“The Home Place is one of the year’s strongest debuts.”
“A love story of the land and its people...captivating.”
“Walloping in suspense, drama, rage, and remorse, this debut is an accomplished literary novel of the new West.”
“La Seur makes a very assured debut. Her characters are rich and believable; the plot is perfectly paced with mystery and romance enough to keep the reader hooked. And it’s all played against a beautifully drawn Montana backdrop.”
“La Seur entices readers with impeccable prose imbued with a blend of romance, nostalgia and suspense.”
“Powerfully evocative and page-turning.”
“Carrie La Seur’s debut is a gripping story of family, love and murder. Set against an indelibly drawn Montana landscape, The Home Place explores the intangible ways we are both defined by and in opposition to the people and places we call home.”
“It is always a treat when a talented writer chooses to write about her home, particularly when she does so with authority, clarity and imagination...The Home Place gives readers a stunning but frank look at what it means to be from Billings, Montana.”