Monday, September 1, 2014

review: nowhere but home by liza palmer

Before I get to the details of Liza Palmer’s Nowhere but Home, I feel I should share a little background. While this is a great book, I think I had an appreciation for it that I wouldn’t have even a few months ago. After spending my entire life in the Pacific Northwest, I accepted a job in Texas which is the setting of Nowhere but Home. The setting plays such a large role in the novel that I definitely enjoyed the book more now that I’ve spent some time in Texas. There were plenty of moments when I thought, “That’s exactly how it is!” One of the biggest adjustments? Being called “ma’am.” And that’s just one of the things I related to in Nowhere but Home.

So what’s the book about and why did I love it so much (besides the setting)? Well, a woman named Queen Elizabeth Wake (yeah, she goes by Queenie) has been a bit of a wanderer ever since leaving her hometown—a place where she was always an outcast simply because she was a Wake. After being fired from yet another job, she decides to go home for a bit. Her sister still lives there and Queenie hasn’t seen her nephew, now a high school freshman and great football player, since he was a baby. Although she intended to make it a short visit, Queenie ends up staying far longer for a multitude of reasons.

Nowhere but Home has a fantastic family and small town dynamic to it. The growth that Queenie experiences, especially when working in the prison kitchen, over the course of the novel is quite the ride, but it’s a good one. Queenie learns a lot about herself and the life she fled. Palmer excellently inserts humor into what is, at times, a very emotional story so that it all comes together marvelously.
Review copy provided by the publisher, William Morrow.

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