Thursday, June 6, 2013

Haven's Wake by Ladette Randolph

Publisher: Bison Books 
Pages: 256 
Format: eARC 
Buy the Book: Amazon 

Goodreads:  Early July, and the corn in eastern Nebraska stands ten feet tall; after a near-decade of drought, it seems too good to be true, and everyone is watching the sky for trouble. For the Grebels, whose plots of organic crops trace a modest patchwork among the vast fields of soybeans and corn, trouble arrives from a different quarter in the form of Elsa’s voice on her estranged son’s answering machine: “Your father’s dead. You’ll probably want to come home.” 

When a tractor accident fells the patriarch of this Mennonite family, the threads holding them together are suddenly drawn taut, singing with the tensions of a lifetime’s worth of love and faith, betrayal and shame. Through the competing voices of those gathered for Haven Grebel’s funeral, acts of loyalty and failures, long-suppressed resentments and a tragic secret are brought to light, expressing a larger, complex truth.


Kritters Thoughts:  Haven Grebel, the head of the Mennonite Grebel family has passed away due to an accident on his farm and now his family is gathering to celebrate his life and to say goodbye.  His two sons have taken different paths from their Mennonite upbringings and the reader must find out why they reacted and went the ways that they did.  


I don't know much if anything of the Mennonite faith and lifestyle, so I enjoyed this fictional book that gave a quiet glimpse into the life of a Mennonite family, but their religious practices were definitely not the sole focus of the book.  The meat of the book was the family relationships and this I loved!  These two brothers have had quite a few bumps in their childhood and I am not sure that their parents handled them in the best manner.  I enjoyed reading about their children as well and the way parents and grandparents can form the decisions that children and grandchildren will make for their futures.

At the heart this is a book about a family dealing with loss and when they all return home how they must pick up all the pieces of the present and the past to potentially move forward as one large family unit.  I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading books where there are family secrets that are shared piece by piece and the reaction of each family member is something to watch for.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2013 Challenge:  17 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Edelweiss.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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