This very solid debut marries suspense with an love song to Montana and the generations that settled that land and those who continue to love it—as hard as that love might be. Author Carrie La Seur is herself a seventh generation descendant of Montana homesteaders who practices environmental law on behalf of farmers, ranchers, and Native Americans. Her deep love of this land shows on every page of this story about an attorney who returns to her family’s Montana “home place” after the death of her sister.
Strong advance reviews and an August Indie Next pick point to a new writer to keep an eye on.
A successful attorney living in a Seattle high-rise, Alma Terrebonne has distanced herself from her rural Montana roots and pushed painful adolescent memories and troubled family members as far away as she can manage. At the opening of The Home Place, Carrie Le Seur’s gripping debut novel, Alma is jolted from her fast-paced, comfortable life when she hears the news of her younger sister’s sudden death. Back in Billings Alma must grapple with her sister’s demons, fight a predatory coal company and ultimately face issues that she has been running away from for years. Any novel of the West worth its salt honors the landscape as a character shaper and a character itself. The sweep of the land, the bitter winter cold and the endless sky populate The Home Place as memorably as its many quirky, troubled, compelling and very human residents. I loved The Home Place, a deeply satisfying page turner filled with heart, human foible and a transcendent link to the land.”
– Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
“[W]hen the call comes that [her] troubled, drug-addled, single-mother [sister] is dead…Alma heads home to identify the body, plan the funeral, and get back to Seattle as quickly as possible. But Vicky’s accidental death may not be an accident. Her overbearing Uncle Walt is acting strange, a coal developer is getting just a little too pushy, and Vicky’s daughter looks to Alma for safety. On top of that, Chance Murphy, her old boyfriend, won’t allow her to tamp down her feelings, for him or for home, anymore. 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.”
“Under ‘a big sky full of a million stars,’ the hard, cold realities of the Terrebonne family loom large. Alma, emotionally shut down for years, must find new strengths to face escalating horrors. Walloping in suspense, drama, rage, and remorse, this debut is an accomplished literary novel of the new West.”
– Library Journal
“La Seur entices readers with impeccable prose imbued with a blend of romance, nostalgia and suspense.”
– Kirkus Reviews
The Home Place (9780062323446) by Carrie La Seur. $25.99 hardcover. 7/29/14 on sale.