Homecoming by Susie Steiner is a hugely enjoyable novel about family, marriage and growing up, set in a Yorkshire farming community.
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Up on the North Yorkshire moors, the Hartle family is about to have a life-changing year.
Ann and Joe, with more than thirty years of marriage and two sons between them, are torn between giving up and pressing on with their struggling farm. Max, their older son, is set to inherit the farm and his wife Primrose has news to share, but is he ready for these new responsibilities? Their younger son, Bartholomew, escaped to the south as soon as he could, building a new life for himself with his girlfriend Ruby. But when tragedy strikes he is forced to return home - and must come to terms with his past, in order to create a future.
Filled with both the joys and losses of ordinary life, Homecoming is a big-hearted drama about how a family falls apart and comes back together again from a hugely talented new writer.
Susie Steiner's debut novel is kitchen-sink drama meets The Archers - a powerful, visceral portrait of the ties that bind, and those that break. Steiner has written a truly exceptional study of human flaws and frailties.
'Who will inherit the farm?' is the big question at the heart of this warm and engaging first novel, set in Yorkshire. The farming details are beautifully deployed, to show a family renewing itself as much as the land it lives on.
The Archers meets Anne Enright in Susie Steiner's involving debut novel, set on the Yorkshire moors. Steiner's novel skifully captures Yorkshire in all its ordinary beauty . . . and her plot is satisfyingly complex. Homecoming is readable, heart-breaking and true.
The story is very much rooted in the complex relationships in the Hartle family. Rich descriptions of 'raising the beet' and the bracken 'which is brown and thick with pheasant' given an authentic feel to Steiner's debut novel. By the time we come full circle at the end of the farming year, you feel you're part of the Hartle family, warts and all.
Homecoming offers many parallels between family and flock, with strands of straying and return. Steiner's realism [is] equally attuned to grim human avarice and warm humour.
Steiner. . . explore[s] the dynamics of marriage, parent-child relationships, and sibling rivalry. It's an absorbing story: one often has the sense of the characters being driven by their natures, inevitably pushed into unwise choices that make you want to shout "Stop!"
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