Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Title: THE HOMECOMING
Author: Dan Walsh
Shawn Collins has come home from the war in Europe after being notified of the death of his wife. He is on bereavement leave and has no idea how long it will be. His young son has been placed in the custody of Shawn’s father, a man that Shawn has been estranged from for years. He arrives home to find the elderly Collins man thoroughly changed, and Shawn is enjoying the time with his dad, and his son, Patrick, while continuing to grieve.
Patrick is completely in love with the social worker, Katherine Townsend, assigned to his case, and even though the case is dismissed, Patrick finds reasons to call her and invite her to be part of his life. Katherine feels forced to leave her job over this case, since she is supposed to keep herself emotionally distant from the children in her charge, and she is emotionally involved with Patrick.
When Shawn is offered the chance to serve his country as a speaker on a war bond tour instead of returning to the battle front, Shawn is torn. He’d really like to stay home with his son and his dad. But he offers Katherine a position as Nanny for Patrick. Will this decision be the key to a new start in his life? Or will the war steal his chances for happiness?
THE HOMECOMING is the sequel to The Unfinished Gift. I recommend reading The Unfinished Gift first as the stories completely tie together. I was looking forward to reading THE HOMECOMING as I fell in love with Walsh’s writing in the first book and couldn’t wait to see what happened in the lives of this small family.
I enjoyed watching the relationship between the characters grow as Patrick and his grandfather and father interacted, as Shawn mourned the loss of his wife and struggled to go on living, and as Katherine tried to find her place in the world. The romance is rather flat, but hinted at. The ending of the book is sweet. $14.99. 310 pages.