The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield
The plot revolves around the quirky, painfully honest Moses family, whose daughter Willadee married a preacher man named Samuel Lake. Due to his refusal to pull punches with congregations, Sam gets a new church each year and this year, none at all so he's moved the family back to Arkansas to the Moses family farm. This loving couple has three loud, boisterous, delightful children, with the girl Swan (yep, she's named Swan Lake!!) as one of the coolest kids I've read about in awhile. There's a sister-in-law who's still in love with Sam, an uncle who's killed a man and lost his leg in the war, a grandmother who's trying to recover from her husband's suicide and has more wisdom in her little pinkie than the rest of the county, the abused child who blossoms with a little bit of love, and of course the stereotypical bad neighbor who beats his wife, children, and animals. However, there's just something about the writing and the story that Wingfield is able to draw her audience in, not wanting to leave this community each night when you should be closing the book, but yes, you keep on reading until well past midnight. It's not all sunshine and roses - there's some hard parts of the story that involve children - but it is a beautifully told story of family, faith, redemption, and occasional justice.